Category Archives: Sewing

On the mend…

Well folks, I’m finally on the mend.  It only took two days off of work and sleeping off some of my sleep deficit for my immune system to kick in finally. 

I kept a steady stream of movies in the dvd player and Nick Jr on the tv for Jack today while I sewed (ah the luxuries of single parenting).  But I am still super behind in my Xmas sewing.  It took me 10 straight hours of  sewing to complete the flannel pj’s for my nephew Thor.  I used Simplicity 3584, the bottom left, View C. 

Simplicity 3584

Overall it’s a decent pattern.  There was only one small drafting error that I encountered.  It was the facing, which extended far too long.  In retrospect, I could have cut it off to match the shoulder seam, but I had tunnel vision at the time and now it’s too late.  Oh well.  I think the pattern is pretty simple; there’s no collar stand after all.  But I think it’s a little too intense or long of a project for Xmas jammies.  The top has so many details that are fussy, like the collar (despite no collar stand) and the pocket.  I’m on the fence as to whether the cut on facing is time saver or not. 

The jammies are definitely cute, but a lot of work.  And with my time constraints now, I am switching gears now and using last year’s knit jammies pattern, Kwik Sew 3510.  The only change I’ll make is to lengthen the torso on the tops. 

Kwik Sew 3510

Apologies, but I can’t show you the flannel pj’s until after Xmas.  My sister might check out my blog and I want it to be a surprise. 

I hope everyone’s Xmas sewing is going well. 

PS: I am so behind on reading blogs right now.  I have over 300 waiting for me on google reader right now, at least 90 of which are saved ones on which I need to comment.  There’s just too little time in the day.

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Sick

No work was done on the dress this weekend, other than cutting out my beloved double-knit, unfortunately.  I was laid low with one of Jack’s vicious colds.  I am hacking my way through the day at work today.   Yesterday, all I could muster was making chicken soup and Xmas cookies with Jack.

And alas, since Christmas is so close now, I will have to set my dress aside and address (haha, I can still pun while sick) my Xmas sewing (totebags galore and the jammie-palooza).

Wish me luck in getting all this done in time.  I’ll need it.

Oh and wish me getting healthy soon too. 

And while you’re at it, wish me a million dollars too.  Thanks!

Deer in headlights

I bet you’re wondering how my dress is coming along. 

Umm…. 

Well….

I did make the 2nd muslin on Tuesday night.  I cut it out and sewed it.  In one night.  That’s a record for me.  I usually sew slower than a snail.  If you’ll remember, I had the great idea to make it a size smaller in real muslin, because the sz 14 in a stretchy knit was gargantuan.  Folks, that sz 12 would have made a hoochie mama blush.  I could barely get it over my hips and you could forget about ever zipping it up the back.

It’s not all bad though, for two good realizations came out of this process:

  1. I could reasonably be assured that I can go ahead and make this in a sz 14 in my double-knit fabric and just baste the side seams, fitting as I go.
  2. This dress is gorgeous. 

I absolutely adore this dress.  The cut is very flattering.  I love the pleats going up the bodice, so cute and flattering at the same time.

Now, about those princess seams…  I tried the “clipping the curve” method to get the princess seams not to pucker and gather as I sewed them, but it did not work.  I think the curved part is just too deep a curve.  I might have to flatten that curve a bit.

And my only worry about going straight to the fashion fabric is that I have not muslined the sleeves at all yet.  I’m just going to treat it like I treat making a left hand turn against on-coming, close my eyes, hit the pedal and just go for it.  😉  

image from xraynova.com

Ok, here’s the confession part of the post:  I was going to cut my double-knit last night, but I suffered from the deer in headlights syndrome.  I pre-treated it and it came out all lovely and soft and beautiful and I just got scared to cut into it.  So I did my Xmas cards and laundry instead.  But tonight is another sewing night my friends and this hoochie mama needs a new dress!  I think this might be a two or three night process.  I might get this dress done over the weekend.  We’ll see.  I’m not making any promises. 

One quick question:  I can get kind of obsessive over things at times (shocking to you, I know), and I can’t stop thinking about color blocking.  Do you think I could use a different color knit for the center of the dress (i.e. betweeen the princess seams) or just leave well enough alone and make it in just one color?  Here’s a picture of the envelope to refresh your memory.

Simplicity 2337

Happy sewing everyone!

Good news and Bad news

First the bad news:  I have to make another muslin.

Now the good news: I get to make it in a size smaller!!!

Last night I pushed through and finished a down and dirty muslin of S2337.  For a refresher, here’s the pic.

Simplicity 2337

Since I am making the dress using double-knit fabric, I had the hare-brained idea bright idea to use a stretch fabric.  However, did I use a similar knit fabric to what I will actually use for the final dress?  NO!  I used some leftover fabric that was too stretchy and too thin for this dress.  Live and learn, I guess.

There is no photographic evidence of this muslin.  I know you all want to see how hideous it was, but I was lucky that my camera battery was dead.  I made a sz 14 suspecting that I would need to move up to the sz 16 since I have gained weight recently.  So in my infinite wisdom, I thought I should sew just 1/2 inch side seams instead of 5/8ths giving me another inch all around.  The end result was hideously big. 

Of course I will need to make another muslin, gratefully in a sz 12 this next time, in real muslin.  I think this dress will be flattering once it’s in the right fabric and not giantess-sized, but it’s so hard to tell in its current drapey, stretchy, too big state. 

I can say with great confidence though that the neckline is Burda low.  In fact, I think you could see my belly button from space it’s so low.  Not sure how I’ll rectify that yet. 

Although I am bummed I have to make another muslin, thereby slowing my process down even more, I am glad to have vanity sizing and am excited to work on a new project again.  It’s been so long since I worked with a knit, it almost feels like an alien fabric in my hands.  I do love the stability of wovens, I have to say.

One note re: the drafting.  The princess seams on this bodice are a little tricky.   The side panel bust curve is really curvy, but the front panel to which it is sewn is not that curvy, so that creates lots of puckers, especially in an unstable fabric like a stretchy knit.  I will have to see how it works in a woven fabric first before I decide what method with which to tackle them once I start working with the double-knit.

Long story, short: More muslining tonight!

On my way

Simplicity 2337 won out as my favorite but not for the reasons you might think.  Yes, it won yesterday’s poll as the hands down favorite.  But, again, that’s not why I chose it.  As I was sitting watching zombies last night (love that show), I perused the pattern pieces of the patterns I had on hand, having not received my package from ButtMcVogue yet.  So that left me with V8529, S2648, S2337, and B5522. 

Originally I was just going to go with B5522, because I just adore those sleeves.  I decided against that one though ultimately due to the shapelessness of the dress (not wanting to make this a long drawn out muslining process to get a good look and fit) and because I had read on reviews of this pattern that the sleeves are pretty fiddly.  I want a somewhat simple and fast project.

Someone had made a comment about double-knit not being really drapey.  So that took V8529 out of contention as the drape cowl is a major component of the design.  I know Carolyn said that it was drapey enough, but I don’t want to chance it.  Plus, I don’t like that CF yoke seam.  I looked at the pattern piece itself and I can see why they put a CF seam there, but think you can still jigger it to work on the fold. 

Then I seriously considered S2648 because I just adore the versions that Eugenia made, but two things deterred me.  As I mentioned yesterday, it doesn’t have long sleeves and it had many more pattern pieces than the other Simplicity pattern.  I know I could stick some other pattern’s sleeves on S2648, but I am not experienced to know if any old sleeve will work with any old armscye.  And, again, since I want this to be a relatively painless process before I move on to Xmas gift sewing, I just don’t want to fool with things endlessly.

Simplicity 2337

I thought S2337 would be complicated pattern just looking at the pattern envelope.  View A (top right) has pleating, a crossover bodice and cuffed sleeves.  But when I looked at the pattern pieces involved, it’s really a simple dress.  I read over the instructions and I didn’t see anything I didn’t understand at first glance, so the simplicity of the pattern (pun intended, hahaha) won me over. 

My only concern is this is an unlined pattern with facings.  I am wondering if I want to line it without facings.  Would that be simpler?  How do I line the pleated half of the bodice?  Should I pleat the pattern piece tissue and make the lining from that?  Here’s the line drawing.

What do you think I should do?  Lining or facings?  I think lining is nicer, but it might be a pain to reinvent the wheel.  But I am scared that the facings will constantly flip out as I know they are wont to do.  *sigh*  Nothing is ever cut in dried in sewing, is it?

So I cut my muslin last night and am ready to sew it tonight.  I cut out a 14, but suspect that I am now a 16.  I hope not, but we’ll see. 

Happy sewing everyone!

Contenders

I did some research tonight and looked through the completely unnecessarily large pattern collection for more dress patterns for which I could use double-knit fabric. 

Ok peeps.  Here we go.  These six patterns are the final contenders for my double-knit dress…

Vogue 8666

Love the color blocking opportunity with Vogue 8666.  And, while it does not have princess seams per se, I have a sneaking suspicion that there is shaping in those extra bodice seams.  Could I be right?

Vogue 8409

Next we have Vogue 8409.  I love that bodice.  Not sure if I have the body to rock the overall shape, but that bodice is killer!

Vogue 8529

On to Vogue 8529.  Possible color blocking opportunity here either with the yoke or the side panels.  Not sure if I am enamored with the center front seam on the yoke though.  Wondering if I can cut that piece on the fold.  Hmmmm….

Simplicity 2648

Then we have Simplicity 2648.  Great reviews for this dress, especially from Eugenia.  Has different cup sizes.  Side panel color blocking oppy?  Only drawback is no long sleeves for the dead of winter. 

Simplicity 2337

The next pattern contender is Simplicity 2337.  I really love view A with the vertical gathers on the bodice, the crossover and long sleeves.  Bonus: princess seams in front. 

Butterick 5522

And the final contender is the Muse knockoff, Butterick 5522.  I love those sleeves, but don’t know if I am up to their challenge right now.  And I would have to do major futzing to make this look less like the 60’s tent dress it is and into something a little more fitted.  I’m not talking sheath dress, but more of a fitted shift dress.

So, what do you think?  Here’s a poll.  Tell me what you think!

Whoa to the second power!

Remember when I saw one of the latest Butterick patterns walk by me at work?  Well guess what I saw at a pre-school tour this week!

Butterick 5522

None other than Butterick 5522 my friends!  In the black and white version no less.

Can you believe it?!?  I know I live in NYC, but still.  It’s pretty amazing to see the real life designer versions of sewing patterns walk right by you. 

I have to admit though, that this dress is pretty shapeless.  I love the sleeves but the dress was doing this woman no favors.  At least she didn’t look pregnant.  😉  

I wonder how I could make the dress less shapeless.