Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Tunic Bible Inspired Dress

If you haven't purchased The Tunic Bible yet don't wait another minute!  I've had mine for awhile and couldn't choose between all of the possibilities.  Now that I managed to get a pretty good fitting shell, I decided make a dress using one of the easier necklines in the book, the inside facing wide split placket.  I don't have many casual summer dresses, so I've really been focusing on that for the last few weeks. 

I'm participating in the 2018 Ready to Wear Fast led by The Tunic Bible co-author and Goodbye Valentino blogger, Sarah Gunn.  If you've never done a RTW fast, I encourage you to try it.  My sewing skills are getting so much better.  As you can tell, I've been hesitant to venture beyond relatively simple silhouettes, but I'm getting a little more adventurous with each new garment.  The fabric I've used is all from my stash, so it's been inexpensive.  Saving money wasn't really my goal, but decreasing the stash and improving my sewing skills was!

Now, to the garment.  This is really just a simple sheath made with 100% cotton and lined with a really nice batiste leftover from my smocking days (about 25 years ago).  I used the inside facing wide split placket and lots of topstitching.  I recently did a sampler of all of the stitches on my sewing machine.  So glad I did!  I found this great triple straight stitch that is absolutely perfect for the topstitching on this dress.

I hope everyone is well into their summer sewing plans.  I'm having a fun time planning the next few garments, and can't wait to get started on them.

Happy Sewing Everyone!

Monday, May 7, 2018

New Look 6342

I was in such need of color in my wardrobe (still am, but this is a start).  I fell in love with this fabric at Style Maker Fabrics when I was looking for something for early spring.  I never dreamed early spring wouldn't be here until May!  I was thinking more along the line of the beginning of April.  At any rate, this was great cotton fabric to work with.  I lined it with Bemberg.  I so love that lining.  It feels magnificent against your skin.  Can't think of a reason to use anything else!

This is a super pattern that is oh so simple to make.  I appreciate it's simplicity because the fabric is rather busy.  I also was happy for the simple lines so that I could continue to work on my fitting skills (I did include the back waist darts as included with the pattern, but skipped the front waist darts).  Now that I have the fit taken care of, I'll make more if these with various changes - neckline changes, sleeves, front waist darts, etc.  A versatile pattern for sure!  

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

McCalls 6355

This pattern has been so popular on Pattern Review and elsewhere that I've wanted to try it for awhile.  I used some mid-weight grey knit left from my last project to make this wearable muslin.

My photographer was out of town today so I had to resort to extreme photography measures!  As you can see, I brightened things up with a scarf I already had.

I did make a few changes to the pattern.  I didn't look good in the neckline as drafted, so I scooped this one out and made my version of a "v" neck, really more of a scoop.
As you can tell from the photo, I also made a seam and topstitched down the center front.  That was actually from necessity because the pattern as cut was too big in the front so I cut out what I didn't need and seamed it up.  It turned out to be a really good design detail.
I cut the sleeves to be 3/4 and turned the hem up on the outside of the sleeve and topstitched to add a little something to this dull gray fabric!

This is a super pattern that I plan to sew again and again now that I have the fitting worked out.

Here's how I wore it today.  

The denim jacket isn't me made, but I already had it in my closet so no RTW Fast violation for me!

Monday, February 26, 2018

McCalls 7020- again!

I enjoyed wearing the first version of McCalls 7020 enough to make it again.  This time, I wanted a more athleisure look.  I had a mid-weight grey knit in my stash that seemed like a good choice (and it was).

In this version, I created a 1 inch casing on the collar edge, put two button holes in the collar front, and made a cord from the grey fabric to thread into the collar.  I also made the pockets as called for in the pattern, but topstitched them to the top front to keep them from flopping around and also to create another design detail. 

I was generous with topstitching on this version.  The sleeves have a 2 1/4" hem and I did a double row of topstitching on those, and also on the garment hem.  I repeated the topstitching on both sides of the center front and back seams, both sides of the shoulder seams, and on the sleeve where it joins the main body of the top.  The more topstitching I added, the more the top looked like RTW.  I used my walking foot and a microtex needle again for this version with good success. 

I'm kind of hung up on this pattern, and am thinking I'll make another one out of french terry soon.  We camp alot in spring and fall, and another top would get plenty of wear on those trips! 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

McCalls 7020- first for 2018

I'm happy to report the Ready to Wear Fast 2018 is well underway here at pincushion central.  I'm easing into the challenge with a few easy makes.  Starting off is McCalls 7020, a very loose fitting pullover top/tunic with sleeve and neckline variations.  I made this one with a mid-weight ponte knit purchased from Fabric Mart eons ago.  I'm pleased with the result. The temperature here topped out at a balmy 30 degrees yesterday and I was warm and cozy in my new top.

I made a few adjustment to improve the fit.  This pattern is definitely roomy.  I narrowed the shoulder significantly, but still have the dropped shoulder the pattern is designed for.  I increased the armmscye and sleeve (the sleeve is designed to be quite tight at the bicep and it wasn't comfortable for me made that way).  I took in the side seams to an X Small (note: I'm a RTW size 14 so that gives an idea of the roominess of this pattern).  I added topstitching at the center front and back, and shoulder seams.  It improved the look.  I originally lengthened this to dress length, but chopped it off in the end.  It looked too much like a sack as a dress.
Shoulder seam topstitching
Center front seam topstitching

I had great stitching results using a microtex needle and walking foot.  This has worked so well for stitching knits.  I'm no longer afraid of them and that's big step for me!  I also noticed that you can arrange this cowl neck a lot of different ways for different looks.  I tried folding it to the inside for a big turtleneck look, and it looked really nice.  Didn't get a photo of that, but encourage you to try it if you make this pattern.

I have another one of these cut from some light grey mid weight knit. I'm adding the pockets called for in the pattern and a few other changes.  I'm going for an athleisure look with this next one.  I'll finish it up and have some photos up soon.  Until then...........

Sunday, November 26, 2017

McCalls 6654 - An easy make

McCalls 6654 in a quilted knit

The pattern description for McCalls 6654 is "misses skirts in 7 lengths: semi-fitted or loose-fitting skirts have elasticized waistband and narrow hem".

This skirt doesn't look like those elastic waist skirts that result from a home economics or childrens' beginning sewing class.  It looks terrific.  The waistband is sewn on and then elasticized.  I think that helps eliminate the dreaded bubble tummy, bubble behind look.

I made mine from a quilted knit that's been in my stash for a long time.  I think I got it at Hancock's.  I've seen a few similar knits online at Stylemaker Fabrics.  It's super easy to work with and looks terrific in this style.  I think a few more of these knit skirts are in my future.  Easy to make, easy to launder, and doesn't wrinkle after sitting at a desk all day!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Gearing up

My sewing has been sporadic for the last few years.  Life gets in the way if you let it, and I did.  It's time to get back to it, especially to enjoy the creative aspects and regain those times where I zone out from the world mid project.  What a great stress buster!  I'm pretty uninspired when I look in my closet these days, so it will be lovely to have clothing I'm excited to wear, fits nicely, and is well made.  I'm fed up with fast fashion and the state of the garment industry so my action will support how I feel about the sustainability of our planet and our responsibility to care for the earth.

I'm not known for doing things the easy way, so I've decided to be a little extreme in 2018.  I'm committing to a challenge of only having things enter my wardrobe that I've made.  This is part of a 2018 Ready to Wear Fast that Sarah Gunn at Goodbye Valentino has organized.  I wasn't going to actually register for the challenge, but changed my mind.  I decided it will be a good way to stay accountable, and the sewing community that results should be alot of fun and inspiration.  Sarah's success with fasting from ready to wear when she started her blog several years ago alone is enough inspiration to give it a try.  The garments she has produced are fabulous!

Here's to gearing up for the challenge!

P.S.  Did you know that Heather Lou was inspired to start Closet Case Patterns as a result of her decision to wear only clothes that she made?  True story!

The Tunic Bible Inspired Dress

If you haven't purchased The Tunic Bible yet don't wait another minute!  I've had mine for awhile and couldn't choose betwe...