Archive | Completed Sewing Projects RSS feed for this section

Kirsten Kimono Tee HiLo Tunic Hack

19 Aug

IMG_3499

Howdy, folks! I hope you’re having a good Hump Day. Life is busy in these parts with back to school so sewing and knitting has been happening in waves around here. I have been on a mission to finish some knitting UFOs and I am pleased to report some nice progress in that department. I finished my Aiken pullover by Andi Satterlund (c. late 2014) last night and now just need to block it and I am down to the last sleeve on my Hi-Fi Pullover by Ruth Garcia Alcantud (c. late 2013). I find it easier to pull out knitting UFOs than sewing UFOs. What about you?

So for your viewing pleasure today I have another hack on the Kirsten Kimono Tee, a free pattern by Maria Denmark. You may remember my first blogged version here which involved combining a sequined knit fabric with a regular knit.

IMG_3501

That wrinkle is just from movement — it isn’t a dart.

For this version, I was trying to replicate a friend’s top that I liked so I altered the side seams and hemline to give the top a more relaxed fit and a high-low hem. My friend was sweet enough to send me measurements from her shirt so I was able to use that information to decide how much to add to the side seams and how much difference to have between the center front and center back hem. I also lengthened the sleeves some. I think my top turned out similar but not identical — I wouldn’t want her to think I am trying to be her twin :)

IMG_3502

I used a silky soft modal knit from my stash. I purchased it at Hart’s Fabric a few years ago and I think this is the one. Please don’t hold me to it because it’s been a while.

I used my serger to sew it up and fused the hems with double sided fusible stay tape from Emma Seabrooke. While I love her tapes in general, I didn’t love it in this application because the hem looks rumpled unless I iron it every time I wear it. It doesn’t have stretch like the body of the garment so it tends to look bad unless pressed thoroughly. Although not necessary, I stitched over the hems with the coverstitch function on my serger.

IMG_3504

I finished the neckline with a wide band that I serged on. Next time I think I would use a binding instead but the band is quick and neat and you can’t beat that!

This is my third version of the Kirsten Tee and the most worn to date. I am not retiring the pattern any time soon but I do think I will move on to trying a new knit top for some variety, maybe the Plantain Tee by Deer and Doe. Do you have a favorite knit top pattern? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Vogue 1353 in Silk Twill

7 Aug

IMG_3435

Howdy! I’m back today with the other half of my 2015 Outfit Along post. You can see more details on my cardigan here.

IMG_3419

As I mentioned to you in the first post, I decided pretty last minute to get started on this outfit, July 13 to be exact, and I didn’t start sewing the dress until the 24th. But since I had already made my chosen pattern, Vogue 1353, once before, I knew I could make it up pretty quickly.

silk_pastel

I chose this light purple colorway silk twill from my stash to match the cardigan. From the Emma One Sock website:

A very pretty silk twill print from a NY designer, this blouse/dress weight is opaque with a lovely drape and a pleasing soft sheen. The print is a floral collage with a 21″ repeat, in pastel tones of pale lavender, blue, yellow, pink and cream…

IMG_3439

I love the soft purple base with irregular white flowers and splashes of soft blue and yellow. I think it would make a great dress for Easter or a baby/bridal shower. The twill fabrication gives the silk more body than a charmeuse although it is still very “silky” feeling. It is like the fabric of a necktie without all the interfacing. The fabric makes the dress very enjoyable to wear as it swishes really well. However, I do think a sturdier fabric, like the cotton sateen in my original version, is better for everyday interpretations of this dress. I will not wear this silk dress to work — it will be reserved for church, brunch, bridal showers, etc.

IMG_3380

I lined the dress with white rayon Bemberg and used Siri sew in interfacing from Emma One Sock.

IMG_3431

I won’t belabor the alterations as those were covered in my last post. My only additional modifications were to shift the shoulder straps in by 1/2″ and to alter the lining pieces by trimming 1/8″ off the neckline and armhole edges to help the lining roll to the inside (and it did help). I had to draft separate lining pieces for the bodice back and bodice side front to do this but that was as simple as tracing the original piece then trimming the desired edges. I had enough fabric this time to cut the skirt pieces with the pleats full width so I removed the modification I had made last time but I think I may like it better with narrower pleats.

IMG_3443

Next time I will remember to add 1/2″ to the skirt length at center back and taper it to nothing at the side seam. Instead I had to cut 1/2″ off the front of the skirt after the fact before sewing on the hem facing.

IMG_3378

Like last time, I used self-fabric instead of lining to face them hem because I like this look better. I stitched the facing in place with the chainstitch on my coverstitch and let the wrong side of the stitching show on the outside of the dress.

IMG_3374

I used this tutorial on Pattern Scissors Cloth to fully line the dress by machine and I used this tutorial to get a precisely installed invisible zipper that doesn’t require a hook and eye. So this dress doesn’t have any handstitching in it — yay!

I don’t think there’s much else to say so I’ll sign off for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with the promised tutorial on using your sewing machine to make buttonholes in your hand-knit garments!

Sallie Jumpsuit | Closet Case Files

5 Aug

IMG_3468

Hi, friends! Did you enjoy the chocolate overload yesterday? I’m back to drinking smoothies and eating kale so I can fit into the clothes I’ve been making. Too bad because those brownies are sooo good and I keep thinking about making another batch!

Here’s another recent make for you — the Sallie Jumpsuit by Heather Lou at Closet Case Files. I bought the pattern and sewed it up not long after it was released. And I’ve even worn it a few times since then but it’s taken me a couple tries to get photos that were good enough to post hence the delay in sharing it with you.

IMG_3475

This pattern is very quick and easy to make up. I think start to finish with assembling the pattern, cutting the fabric, and construction all the way down to the hem took me about four hours. The instructions are good and the methods yield nice results with a clean finished top.

I found certain parts were easier to do on my standard machine rather than my serger. For instance, the neckline seam and the side seams of the bodice were easier to construct with the sewing machine. I did go back over the neckline with the serger to add the clear elastic for stability since my standard serger foot has a nifty little slot for guiding in elastic and I think this is so much easier than adding it with the regular sewing machine, but I do think it is hard to get into the V exactly with the serger.

IMG_3477

I finished the waist and pants with the serger. I fused the hems with Emma Seabrooke fusible tape and didn’t bother stitching them. I used 1/2″ knit elastic for the waistband and it is very comfortable. My fabric is a cheap lightweight ITY knit from Hancock’s.

As for the fit, I selected a 12 at the bust and graded down to a 10 at the waist then back out to a 14 at the hips. I eliminated the pockets because I don’t really use them in lightweight knit garments. I measured the rise on the pattern and found it would be too short on me and that’s not a good look in a jumpsuit. So I added 1″ to the top of the center back and 1/2″ to the inner leg of the back piece, tapering to nothing down the inseam. I also scooped out the curve a little bit. I then shortened the front rise by about 1/2″.

IMG_3482

This all helped and the front rise is great but I need more length in the back rise on my next version as I still feel like my butt is eating the pants a little. I also plan to differentiate a front and back bodice piece on my next version as I need more ease to go over my chest. It doesn’t blouse at the center front like it does at the center back. And I think a forward shoulder adjustment would be helpful. Finally, I find the armhole to be very tight and restrictive, so next time I will lower that a bit.

IMG_3451

But overall, my jumpsuit is very wearable and I think I will definitely try the pattern out again (or maybe I already have…).

Vogue 1353 | Pleated Poppies Dress

22 Jul

IMG_3282

Hello, again! I am on a roll lately!! I’m back today to share with you my completed Vogue 1353, a great pleated fit-and-flare dress with a full lining by Kay Unger. I was inspired by Margo’s recent review of this pattern (isn’t she gorgeous?!?), and bought it next time Hancock’s had a sale and started sewing almost immediately.

V1353

The pattern is the perfect silhouette for an everyday, ladylike dress. And when you make it up in a washable fabric, it works well in your day job as a pediatrician. Where, yes, sometimes you do get peed on but thankfully not often — happened for the first time in ages this week just not to this dress :)-

IMG_3286

I made this beauty up in a great poppy print stretch cotton sateen from Sawyer Brook Fabrics.

V1353 poppies lining

I lined it with a creamy yellow polyester pongee from Fabric Mart Fabrics that I think I paid $1/yd for… Cotton sateen is a dream to sew with after you’ve been doing nothing but knits and silks. It actually does what you ask it to!

IMG_3291

I started with a straight size 14 then I made a few alterations:

  • 3/4″ FBA
  • lowered bust dart 5/8″
  • lowered bust point of princess seam 5/8″
  • lengthened bodice 1/2″
  • took it in a smidgen in the princess seam above the bust
  • added 1/4″ under the arm at the bust front and back tapering to nothing at the waist
  • 1/2″ forward shoulder adjustment
  • took it in 3/4″ on each side of the zipper tapering to nothing at the waist for a gaping back neckline
  • reduced the width of the pleats because my fabric wasn’t 60″ wide

V1353 Poppies Hanging Detail

I strayed from the instructions only so far as to avoid hand sewing. I lined it completely by machine, including stitching the lining to the invisible zipper by machine with my invisible zip foot. I did hand sew the hook and eye in place as I couldn’t find any way around it. :)

IMG_3298

V1353 Poppies Hem

My favorite part of the dress is the hem with its facing and topstitching. I used the chainstitch function on my Juki MO-735 5-thread serger to create the textured line of stitching instead of the handstitching that is prescribed in the pattern instructions. I stitched with the hem facing up so the “wrong” side of the stitching shows on the outside of the dress, creating a nice, visible line of thread. I love finding new uses for my serger!

IMG_3293

The pattern calls for a purchased belt and here I’ve accessorized it with a cute little aqua leather belt with a silver buckle that I picked up at Gus Mayer department store in Birmingham. I think this is probably the only thing (at $38) that I could ever afford from that store but I do love it! I have also paired the dress with a bead necklace from Kluster Shop and some Franco Sarto strappy heel sandals.

This is my new favorite dress pattern and I think there will be another one soon. Stay tuned!

In-House Patterns | Chelsea Blouse in Blue Georgette

19 Jul

IMG_3254

Here we are again, on the eve of another work week, and I have another productive sewing session to tell you about. I have completed a Vogue 1353 which turned out great and I will share once I get photos. I have also made another Closet Case Files Sallie Jumpsuit trying to perfect the fit. And I made another McCall’s 7121 that just needs a hem. Spoiler alert — no crazy stripe matching in this version.

IH3012-ViewA_sketch_grande

But what I am going to share with you today is this sheer, swingy blue blouse made up with the hot-off-the-presses In-House Patterns Chelsea Blouse. It’s no secret that I love Alexandra Morgan’s skills as a designer, pattern drafter, and conveyor of streamlined and industry-style sewing techniques. You can see some of my previous In-House makes here and here (I think there is going to be another Belle Blouse in my future soon). There are others that have never made it onto the blog (my sister loves the Jenny Tee that I made and gifted to her).

IMG_3256

This top is trendy but basic enough that you could make it up in a crazy fabric to wear now or in a nice neutral solid to keep in your wardrobe for many years. The pattern also provides the option for color blocking or mixed media (think lace or chiffon back panel). I love the way the side seams swing forward toward the front as they head down to the hemline. I think this makes the silhouette more slimming. What do you think?

IMG_3250

I chose to make mine up in a royal blue polyester georgette by J. Crew ($3.50/yard), one of a few pieces in a recent Fabric Mart Fabrics acquisition. While this wasn’t the easiest fabric to work with, by taking my time getting the fabric on grain, cutting it out with a rotary cutter, and carefully pinning and stitching, I think I was able to achieve a satisfactory garment.

IMG_3262

Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t my best work ever. My rolled hem foot gave me fits and my neck binding refused to be stitched in the ditch so I had to resort to handstitching it. But the casual observer will never notice these things.

IMG_3259

For sizing I chose a large with D cup and I added 5/8″ width to each shoulder as well as making a 1/2″ forward shoulder adjustment. I chose these adjustments based on the fit of my Blossom Blouse but I feel like the width I added to the shoulders was unnecessary and makes me look even broader than I am. Based on prior experience, In-House Patterns are drafted with very little ease so I don’t try to fudge on choosing my size. But I think in this pattern I could have gone with the medium.

IMG_3266

As far as construction goes, I used French seams for everything, including the armscyes. As mentioned above, the French binding on the neckline was stitched down by hand with a fell stitch.

IMG_3252

The body and sleeves of the blouse are hemmed with the rolled hem foot on your machine. From prior experience, I knew this would be tricky but I forged ahead. I had to adjust my needle position to get the stitching to hit in the right spot. And some places aren’t rolled right but it’s not obvious from the outside. It got a little easier as I went along, though, and the sleeves aren’t too bad.

IMG_3248

The Chelsea Blouse from In-House patterns is another solidly drafted pattern by Alexandra Morgan. I would love to see your version if you decide to sew it up!

McCall’s 7121 | Stripe Matching Victory!

5 Jul

IMG_3215

Happy Sunday, friends! I hope you are all rested and ready for the week ahead. I have taken advantage of this long holiday weekend to catch up on my never-ending list of things I would like to sew. I have made a simple knit sheath dress from some floral print scuba knit, a psychedelic Closet Case Files Sallie Jumpsuit, a Watson bra, started on the Maison Fleur Halterneck Swimsuit, and just finished this cute little dress — McCall’s 7121.

M7121

Hopefully I will get around to sharing those other things with you but if I don’t, at least you know I’m back to sewing! And now that my knit fest is over, I have plans to start on some woven items like a dress and some blouses. I will keep you posted.

IMG_3213

Y’all know I love a good knit dress. Exhibits 1 and 2. And there are more that I haven’t even shown you but that make regular appearances in my wardrobe. So it’s not a surprise that I picked up this pattern when they went on sale for $1 at Hancock’s. But I think I love this one a little more because it has a waist seam and the skirt is a little more A-line. And since the front bodice is not cut on the fold, McCall’s added a little bit of bust shaping there in the front for you.

IMG_3214

And the stripes make it so fun and flattering. Plus, I get to show off my stripe matching skills! What, you thought I was hiding something under the belt? BAM!

IMG_3341

I chose my size based on the finished measurements, not the size chart, and I selected sizes that would yield zero to a little negative ease in the bust and waist. I made my standard adjustments of 1/2″ forward shoulder and 1″ swayback and I also decided to raise the neckline by 1.5″. After I stitched this up, I realized the armholes and back neckline were gaping and the waist was a little low so I pinched up the shoulder by 1.5″ and stitched a new shoulder seam, effectively fixing all three problems. I think using neck and armhole bindings would prevent the gaping but this pattern just calls for turning and stitching.

IMG_3345

Which, of course, I didn’t do! I decided to self-line the bodice for a clean finish at the neck and armscye. I did sew some clear elastic into the neckline and after I raised the shoulder seams, it lies smoothly. Finally, I serged some clear elastic into the waist seam and hemmed with a twin needle.

IMG_3212

Easy peasy for a great wardrobe builder. I think my next version will be hacked into a peplum top with some great black floral scuba knit that is calling to me from my fabric stash…

McCall’s 6706 | Carolina Herrera Skirt

12 Mar

Howdy, friends! I have another completed sewing project for you today! But before you get too excited, this is a project I completed sometime last year (probably Summer 2014), and just never got a chance to get good enough photos to blog.

Luckily, we finally had some pretty weather this past Sunday and there is a cute spot outside our new condo, so I took advantage and enlisted my handsome stepson to play photographer. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize until after the photo shoot that there was a large smudge on the lens so you will have to excuse the blur around my feet :)

IMG_3170

This skirt started with the fabric. I found it at Promenade Fine Fabrics in New Orleans, one of my favorite fabric haunts. It was milled for Carolina Herrera and is a silk organza with blue flowers with black outlines embroidered on it. Maybe there’s a better term for the way this fabric is embellished but I don’t know it. The black outline appears to be clipped to have exposed threads, kind of reminds me of velvet, but the blue looks like embroidery. Any info on this type of fabric would be appreciated. The fabric was very pricey ($58/yd) so I knew it had to become something that didn’t require much yardage and that I could make without any errors.

M6706

I decided on McCall’s 6706 (rendered once before in a drapey rayon challis), to create a simple, elegant, pleated knee-length skirt.

carolina-herrera-bal-harbour-shops-boutique-opening-carolina-herrera3-photo-by-manny-hernandez

Then I found this photo of the designer herself wearing a very similar skirt in an almost identical fabric. I never could find any garments in the exact fabric.

IMG_3201

I decided to underline the fashion fabric with plain silk organza so I could finish the raw edges like I did in my red Hollyburn skirt and to give it a little more opacity and body.

IMG_3200

I also lined the skirt with a bone colored silk crepe de chine from Promenade. At first I thought I would line it with black, but the neutral silk really made the white of the organza stand out.

IMG_3199

Finally, I decided to use some fabulous, authentic Petersham ribbon for the waistband. This notion also came from Promenade and Herbert says that it is some of the only truly legit Petersham that is still made. I wish you could feel it through the computer — it is so thick and luxurious. Another pricey option ($32/yd), I purchased just enough to go around my waist twice for the waistband and facing.

IMG_3177

Construction was pretty straightforward. As I mentioned above, I underlined the skirt panels with organza then hand basted the pleat lines and lightly pressed the pleats into place then machine basted them across the top.

IMG_3179

For the lining, I basted it to the skirt along the top then treated it and the outer skirt as one piece when applying the waistband. I laid the Petersham ribbon directly on the waist seam line and used my edgestitch foot to stitch just inside the outer border of the ribbon. Then I matched the other piece of ribbon (the waistband facing) up with the top and edgestitched along the top border to connect the two. The I did one final row of stitches to secure the bottom of the facing to the bottom of the waistband. Fortunately, these stitches just melt right into the ribbon and you can’t see them, otherwise I would have been doing a lot of handstitching!

IMG_3174

I finished the lining with a 1/4″ machine hem and the outer skirt is finished with a 1″ hand stitched hem, catching my stitches in the organza underlining.

All in all, I love this skirt even though it was not the cheapest project. It is one of a kind and I feel like it looks like a designer piece. I think I will be able to enjoy wearing it for many years so I don’t mind the little splurge to create it.

What about you, my fair readers, have you ever splurged a little bit on a project? Did you play it safe with a pattern you knew would sew up well or did you do something more daring? I would love to hear in the comments!

I hope to be back soon :)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 350 other followers