Monday, April 17, 2017

Sewing The Past Week?

This blog is going to combine several small projects. I had several different projects I was working on for several various reasons. All of those will be included in this blog just so I can get you all caught up on what I've been doing over the past week.
 
First up, I joined the "2017 Tops That Pop" challenge over at Faye's Sewing Adventure blog.  It runs for two weeks, April 15 through the 30th. I plan on making a few tops (because they are much needed for me right about now!). That's why you'll be seeing a lot of tops in spring/summer posts!

So let's get started…

1. First up is New Look 6415 (I made view C). This was a quick and easy top to make and I'm sure it will get a lot of wear this summer! I purchased the fabric from Pennie Fabrics in Sarasota, FL (sorry no online presence).  While I'm not sure of the fabric content, it does have horizontal stretch but very little vertical stretch. (Perfect for this top).
  

2. Next is a Tee for my hubby (yes the men's tops count in the challenge too! LOL!). I made this top by copying an old RTW baseball Tee of my husband's. (One that he loved and had worn out).  I created new pattern pieces so I can make future Tees like this for him easily! The fabric (grey colored) was in an auction box I won from Knitpop fabrics. It is extremely soft and I believe is a rayon knit. The contrast black, is a rayon lycra knit from JoAnn Fabrics. He absolutely fell in love with it when he saw it and I love it on him too!
  

3. Now for the last one…this could have ended up a huge "wadder"! (For those who don't sew, "Wadder" is a sewing slang meaning "fail") However, it didn't… instead it is a "dress turned top", which now makes it part of the "Tops That Pop" challenge too!  

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I have a problem with dresses on my body type! I can do two piece dressing all day, but when it comes to a full dress, we just don't see eye to eye! The fabric was purchased from JoAnn fabrics and I used New Look 6488 to create it (version C dress).  Unfortunately, I didn't like the way it looked on me, so this dress ended up my last Top for the week....
  
  

I have a few more tops that I want to crank out before the end of this challenge, so I have to get the work room buzzing!

Thank you Ms. Faye for having another Tops Challenge...It was right on time!!

Happy Sewing!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Jeans Challenge

 
Another challenge? Yes Siree!  This one I just could not pass up! I needed a really great fitting pair of Jeans that I didn't have to spend $200 plus on! For this challenge I selected the "Closet Case Ginger Jean pattern. This pattern has two versions and I selected it because of the "low rise" version. Typically, I get low rise jeans because I am short waisted and  they fit me just below my normal waist line, which is perfect!  I purchased this pattern as a PDF download, here  However, you can also purchase a printed copy there as well.
 
I started off by making a muslin using fabric from my stash which is a cream colored stretch corduroy. Comparing my measurements against the patterns, I decided to select a size larger than my normal, even though the pattern calls for stretch fabric.(That turned out to be a big mistake!) The jeans ended up being too large! This pattern actually runs true to size in my opinion. (Wish I had known that before!). So I ended up taking the jeans in at the side seams approximately a half-inch.  Now the fit was much better but on my actual project I will go down a size. Below are the before and after of my Muslin...
  
After I added the waistband, I noticed that I had a large gap in the back (approximately 1-1/2 inches!).  This truly surprised me because the waist band pattern piece is actually a curved line which I prefer.  It just wasn't enough curve for my body. (And I don't really have an "hour-glass" figure either, LOL!) So the next adjustment I made, was to make the waistband curve more at the waist. I copied the waistband pattern piece and then folded it into four quarters.  I unfolded and slit the waistband along those four crease lines but not all the way through.
 
Then I overlapped each of the four sections by a 1/2". Now I have my curved waistband that fit my body perfectly.
  
I used the low rise version for my muslin and quickly realized I wanted them to be more of a skinny jeans style. So I decided to combine both patterns and make mine a "low rise skinny jean".   There was only one other change that I made purely for my satisfaction…I removed 1/2" height from the waistband. I did this because I wanted the waistband to appear more like the RTW styles. All in all, I made three actual changes to the original pattern…
  • Duplicate view B legs (skinny)
  • Added more curve to waistband removing 1-1/2"
  • Remove 1/2 " height from waistband
All of these adjustments were purely for my taste except for the extra curve to the waistband (this was a necessity!). Without further ado, here are photos of my Closet Case Ginger Jeans...
   
  
 
 
 Next up is a pair of jeans inspired by a pair I saw in a movie called "Obession". Beyoncé was wearing them in the movie and it was one of those moments you tell yourself, "can I make those? Yes, I bet I can!"  For those of you who know me, know it was a no brainer I was gonna try!  Here is the inspiration photo and my version...
 
  
 
  
 
To create this inspiration, I used the Jalie Eleonore Pull On Jean pattern as my base. It was easy enough to use and all I had to do was create the pockets and all of the style lines.  Below are a few photos of my process:
  
 

This was a great challenge and I truly enjoyed it.  I also found the perfect TNT Jean pattern...The Closet Case Ginger Jean!  I love this pattern and will be using it whenever I need a new pair of jeans!

What new pattern have you fallen in love with?

Thanks for stopping by and sharing a little of your time with me, it's so much appreciated!

Happy Sewing!

Friday, March 24, 2017

What's in my sewing room?

Wow, it's been a busy few weeks!  I hope everyone has been well and enjoying themselves (remember, those who work hard, get to play hard too!). I've been busy with sewing and specifically challenges lately.  As you saw on my previous blog post, the last challenge was a "Workout Gear" challenge.  That challenge, I hosted and it was a lot of fun!  This month's challenge is "Jeans/Vests".  However, that's not what this post is going to be about...I also worked on a few pieces that were not related to the challenges I'd like to share with you.

First up is a repeat make from Style Arc patterns and it's called the "Issy Top".  The fabric is a Silk Jersey knit purchased from Pennie Fabrics. I love the style of this top and along with this fabric, it's the perfect marriage to make this top awesome!  This isn't the first time I've made this pattern, you can see my first couple of versions here.
  
 
  
I love this pattern and I'm sure this will not be my last time making this top either!!

Next up, is a top I made to go with a pair of cream colored corduroy jeans I just made. However, this top is going to get a lot more wear with other things too because I really like it! (I like it better than the corduroys! LOL!). This is an Indie pattern from the website "Melly Sews".  It's called the "Rivage Raglan" Tee.  This is my first time making this pattern and I have to say it will definitely not be my last!

It's a very easy and quick pattern to make…I made it in a few hours.  There are only three pieces to the pattern and they went together super easy with no issues.  I got a perfect fit with no alterations straight out of the envelope (in this case no envelope, a PDF downloadable pattern, LOL!)

I love the higher neckline and the high-low hemline of this T-shirt (it couldn't have been designed better for me, even if I had done it myself!).
  
  
One thing I noticed about the pattern, the designer decided to leave to hem and the sleeve hem unfinished. (The same was done to the inside seam edge of the neckband). Not a problem, I chose to finish all of them on my top and you could do the same.  All in all, it's a great Tee that you can throw together in a couple of hours!

As I mentioned a while back, I am in need of casual tops for my new lifestyle wardrobe...so you'll be seeing a lot more casual attire in the future!

What's in your sewing room?  I love hearing from you all and thanks so much for stopping by to see what I'm up too!

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Workout Gear Complete-Updated 3-1-17

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful February! I know I've been quite on the blog...however, that doesn't mean I've not been sewing, LOL!!  Actually, if you had a chance to read my previous post, you already know I've was working on a Workout Gear Challenge for the month of February.  It was so much fun!  I've never made workout clothing for myself and learned so much while researching for the challenge.  I only made one outfit for the challenge because I was working on other things too...but it's defnitely not going to be my last!  As a matter of fact, I will be making my own workout gear from this day forward, I love it so much!  Being able to choose my own style, fabrics and get a great fit...sound pretty good to me!  I selected these two patterns...Butterick 6295 for the pants (love the side pockets!);
 
...and for the top, I selected the Papercut Neuma Tank (love the styling of this pattern)
 

Both were very easy to put together.  However, I needed to be a little creative with the straps in coming up with an alternative way to attach them, solely for my preference.  Here are some snapshots of the workout gear I completed during the challenge...

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

This was truly a fun project and I can't wait to create another!  I'll share it with you all when I do!  

*Update*:  I had enough fabric left over(scrap) from my workout top to create this lovely "Style Arc Cold Shoulder" top.  It's the second time I've used this pattern...the other can be seen here.  Just finished in time for the "Scrapit" challenge deadline!
 
 
 
On another note, I love to travel and there's places I would love to go but not sure if I'll ever make it!  Who knows?!!  What I do have, is a friend who's a lovely artist.  She teaches classes in art; sketching, watercoloring, etc and has great content on her blog, "Painted Thoughts Blog".   She's working with "Blue Walk Tours" on a trip to England for a creative vacation!  If you're an artist, what a great way to find inspiration!!  Heck, even I could find sewing inspiration there too, who wouldn't! LOL!!  

So if you're an artist or know of an artist who may be intrested, select the "Blue Walk Tours" link above for more information on the trip!  Sounds like it's going to be a blast and wish I could go! (Timing for me...I'll be on my way to Alaska!)


 
 
 
Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

February Challenge - Workout Gear SMT (GR) *UPDATED*

Hello everyone, 

This is a special blog post on a challenge I'm hosting for the Alethia's "Sew Much Talent (GR)" group on Facebook.  The challenge runs the month of February and I'm really excited, especially since I've never sewn any workout gear before! So to help others who are joining the challenge, I'm going to devote this blog post to the Workout Gear challenge.

First, the Patterns.  There are so many on the market to choose, from you could easily become overwhelmed!  If this is your first time making workout gear, I would suggest selecting a very easy pattern.  Depending on what you want to make, below are a few options out there.

  
McCalls 7261 On Sale @ JoAnn Fabrics 2/2/16 for $1.99
(Rated "Highly recommend" on PatternReview.com)

   
McCalls 7514 On Sale @ JoAnn Fabrics 2/2/16 for $1.99
 

  
Butterick 6295


  
Kwik Sew 3660


   

Jalie 2796 Rated "Highly Recommended" on PatternReview.com


 
Jalie 2444 Rated "Highly Recommended" on PatternReview.com


Jalie 2795 Rated "Highly Recommend" & "Great Wardrobe Builder" on PatternReview.com 

Second, the Fabrics.  There are many types of knit fabrics you can use to create workout gear and there is one thing they all have in common...stretch!  However, they are all not created specifically for workout gear.  So if you truly plan on using your garment to workout in, there are a few things to keep in mind.  Technical, also known as "High Performance" fabrics are most used in the making of workout gear.  Stay away from knits like cotton which can hold 25 times it's weight in water and takes a long time to dry.  Not something I would want to workout in!  Technical or High Performance fabrics are "wicking" fabrics that helps your body stay cooler by keeping moisture on the surface.  Here's a definition of Wicking fabrics...

Wicking fabrics are modern technical fabrics which draw moisture away from the body. They are made of high-tech polyester, which, unlike cotton, absorbs very little water.

Below are links to a few online fabric stores that carry a variety of High Performance or Wicking fabrics:

SpandexByYard.com (one of my favs; little pricey)


Fabric.com (inexpensive)

Michael Levine, Inc. (one of my favs; little pricey)

Mood Fabrics (pricey)




*Updated 2-3-16* So Sew English Fabrics


Amazon (don't forget about them!)

Also, check your local JoAnn's for High Performance fabrics...they have it too!

Third, Needles and Thread.  When working with knit fabrics, always use a "ball point", "stretch" or "jersey" needle (that includes "Twin" needles for hemming!).  Size depends on the weight of your fabric.  I typically use #10, #11 or #12.  I've used "universal" ballpoint needles before...however, you get the best performance with the ones shown below.

 

   Threads...if you don't want to expose yourself with a "popped" seam, LOL! stay away from 100% cotton thread!  Polyester thread provides the best stretch for sewing knits.  However, you can use cotton wrapped polyester too (like Coats & Clarks Dual Duty)...it provides both strength and stretch.

  
 
Fourth, Machines and Sewing Feet (the machine's feet, not yours, LOL!).  Both Sergers and Sewing Machines can be used when sewing Workout Gear (I do use both!)  The Serger is easy and basically needs no explanation because the stitches automatically have the stretch needed for knit seams.  Sewing machines can also be used...but to be successful in sewing your workout gear, you need to follow a few suggestions.

If your machine has a Stretch stitch, use it!  If not, try a Zizag stitch...on light to medium weight knits, try using a stitch length of 1.5 and a width of 5. This setting closely mimics the look and function of an overlock stitch. When sewing, remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of every seam to secure, then trim seams.  Also, support your knit fabric while sewing, never force fabric by pulling from behind or forward to prevent stretching.

The three most popular styles of Sewing Machine Pressure Feet to use for sewing your workout gear are...

- Knit Foot (I need to get one!).  This knit foot has holding teeth that holds the fabric at just the right moment as the needle is going down through the fabric. The foot is designed to work with your machine's needle bar. As the needle bar goes up, it lifts the lever on the knit foot which pulls up the holding teeth and allows your machine's feeding system to advance the fabric forward for the next stitch.  Price approximately $6 - $14.

 
- Plastic Zizag Foot (what I use now when I use my sewing machine).  Most machines come with one and can be all plastic or an "all purpose" one that has metal on the bottom of the foot.  The "all" plastic is recommended.  Price approximately $10
  
- Walking Foot.  Attaching this foot to your machine is not as quick and easy as the others above...using it also helps move knit fabrics evenly through your machine (like the Knit Foot) so they don't stretch out of shape.  However, it can be cumbersome when sewing curves or turning corners, you may not obtain consistent stitches. (But perfect for straight seams!) There are many brands and styles that can run you from $15 - $130.
  

Lastly, Sewing With Knits Tutorials. I love working with knits (my preferred fabric!).  However, this is my first time creating Workout gear...So I've done a bit a research over the last couple of days to prepare myself and wanted to share my findings with you all!  Below are some of the sewing tutorials I found helpful and hope you do too!










That's it for my little research!  I hope this will be as informative for others as it has been for me compiling it!  I'm not done with my research, there's SO MUCH out there...I will continue because I am truly "hyped" about creating my very own workout gear!

Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time...

Happy Sewing!




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