Sunday, June 21, 2015

From the Needs Work Department

This is one of the first Textile Studio Santa Monica tees I made. It was made last fall/winter and I wore it all the time since I have several sweaters that go really well with it. It was one of the first things I'd pull out and put on from the basket of fresh laundry. It was one of my favorites.  I go to put it on the other day, it was chilly and it has three-quarter length sleeves, and I can't get my arm through the sleeve. The sleeve is all stuck together. With something minty. It's GUM!! I was a bit cross with the gum chewer who committed this crime, but luckily it was just the sleeve. So now it has cap sleeves and I can wear it all summer too!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

17 colors of ITY!

These two solid colored tops are the last two of Santa Monica tees I had planned. On a whim, I added this fabric to my cart on Amazon just to qualify for free shipping. I've been buying fabric online for many years, mainly from (which Amazon now owns) but this was the first time from Amazon's site. I rarely see anything other than prints, so I was very surprised to find so many solid colors of ITY fabric. The shipping from this seller was super fast and the price good. As you know, buying fabric online can sometimes be disappointing, but not this time. This is great fabric!
(I'll get to that print top later)
I have not been paid for this endorsement,
but will accept either cash or fabric.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Kwik Sew 3756--Another Two Tees

I've been busy in the sewing room making more tee shirts for the summer. This is an old Kwik Sew (3756) pattern that I've made before with long sleeves. I really, really like this cap sleeve version. These are both ITYs recently purchased from Haberman Fabrics.

The square sweetheart neckline is ingeniously made by way of a clever tuck and front facing.  How the hell did they think of that? My hat goes off to whoever came up with this idea. I am totally green with pattern drafting envy!

As much as I do like it now, I have to say I was less than thrilled when I made it before with long sleeves. For one thing, it was a little big, but mostly it was because of this:

Whatever I used to stabilize this seam itched like crazy. I wore it once in a while, but whenever I did, I couldn't wait to get it off. This time around, all I did was serge that seam. It totally doesn't need any additional stabilizing.

Strangely, this pattern included a binding for finishing the sleeves. You can see it on the blue top on the envelope above. I simply turned under the edge and hemmed on the cover stitch.

And, as clever as I think that little tuck is, I thought it looked terrible in a solid colored fabric. Like any dart, I like what it does, but I don't want to have it screaming at me!

I used fusible tricot for the front facing instead of the sew-in recommended in the instructions.

I highly recommend this pattern but would only make it in a print. Like every Kwik Sew pattern I've ever used, it's well drafted and indeed quick to make, especially since I streamlined three of the steps!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Textile Studio Santa Monica Tee

Its that time of year when I usually pick a tank or tee pattern then make it to death. Two years ago it was this pattern. This year, it could easily become this pattern. I like it that much, but I've already made myself a solemn promise (I make myself a lot of solemn promises --and I stick to them!) to give some other patterns a chance to get out of the drawer.

I have made this pattern with long sleeves before and really liked it. I think this pattern runs a bit small side. I made an XL. This plum fabric is a cotton jersey, so its stretchier than some other knits, plus it seems to grow as you wear it. A regular large may have been okay in this fabric. Its got a bit too much hip room and the neck doesn't lie flat in back, so I shaved a bit off the hips and the shoulder seams for the next go. It is a lovely color and goes well with these pants.

The second version is an ITY knit. Well, three actually. I made this one for a sewing group challenge. I had only a small amount of the main fabric and used pieces from my scrap bin for the sleeves. I
think it fits much better.

(Just so you know, I do not save fabric scraps, except for knits. I have a crazy notion to make panties with them--once I'm through menopause!)

The third one is my favorite so far.  Its also an ITY, but a nicer quality than the previous fabric. This fabric was perfect, especially because it came from the free table! (The early bird gets the worm, Cynthia)

I wouldn't be wrong gushing too much about this pattern. It's really quick to make and takes less than a yard of fabric. First you sew a dart at the top of the sleeve, then you sew the shoulder and side seams. The neckline and sleeves are simply turned to the inside and stitched. Hem it and you're done. I have to say, I felt a bit guilty when I first bought my cover stitch machine, but it sure does make a top like this super easy and professional looking. You only need to use Steam-a-Seam if you like burning your fingers.

 I do still  have two more excellent fabric candidates in my hoard for this pattern, so you will be seeing at least two more.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Shorts and PJs

I have been known to garden in a skirt, but really shorts are better. Weed pulling shorts don't even have to look good, but they should have pockets. Since I made myself a solemn promise to never wear this pair outdoors, I made this pair:

When I made the muslin, I foolishly followed the directions and inserted the elastic through a casing with a bodkin. There's a reason I hadn't done it that way in 25 years. Because its a pain in the ass. I plead temporary insanity. I regained my faculties and used the zipper foot method when I made this pair. If you're not familiar with the method, here's how.

After that, I was on a roll. My husband wanted some summer PJs so I made him 3 pairs. I used sheeting from my muslin collection for two of them. Then I used the ugliest fabric in my hoard for the third. I don't know why I never thought of it before: make stuff for other people with your ugly fabric! I felt just like The Selfish Seamstress. God, I miss her!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Pleasant Surprise

I picked up this pattern (Butterick 5753) recently at a JoAnn's sale. I don't usually think this kind of loose top is all that flattering on me, but my body's been changing so I took a chance. It was a huge surprise to me how much I like this top. I made three in two days and may have made more if I had had more fabric candidates for it. It is designed for knits. The paisley version is a cotton jersey--you know, the fiddly, hard to work with kind of knit! 

It is super, super fast to make. My only quibble is with the width of the neckline. I had to bring it in an inch on both sides. Other than that, its a straight size medium right out of the envelope.

The striped one is some funky 1970s Quiana nylon recently scored from the free table. It doesn't have much stretch so it hangs a bit differently.

This animal print is so super stretchy I could get three of me into it! I should probably stabilize the neckline to cut down on its flash dance off the shoulder tendencies.

Clocking in at about 2 hours from cutting to finishing, its a great stash buster too!