Hooray! There was just a big online sale and I just got a whole bunch of new patterns in the mail!
People often ask me, why do I have so many patterns? Well mostly because I’m obsessed, but also because I am able to get them so cheap. Last summer I decided to spend the $9.99 to join the BMV club so that I could get McCall, Vogue, Butterick, and Kwik Sew patterns for a discount. The discounts have more than paid for themselves. And it’s nice because a lot of times I would find a pattern I liked at a store, only to find out they are out of stock. I highly recommend it if you think you are going to buy a lot of patterns in the coming year (as I was). But you can also sign up for emails to get notified of their sales. The sales are pretty good and you can often get patterns for $3.99. So, maybe some upcoming projects in the future! What do you think – anything strike your fancy?
Pattern: Vogue Patterns American Designer, Kay Unger New York #V1353….continued from part 1
There is nothing like a slightly rainy holiday weekend to give you the motivation to sew! Things have been so busy over the last couple weeks with work, random obligations, and my actual graduation from business school that I hadn’t gotten a chance to work on my new dress. I was grateful for the 3-day weekend to get started.
But I first want to mention that my oldie New Home machine is now in semi-retirement. I’m sad that I won’t be using it as I’ve gotten quite attached to it, quirks and all. It will be a good thing in the end because I have far less bobbin issues with my mom’s old (my new) Husqvarna machine.
Okay back to the dress. The pattern seems very straight forward, instead of cutting the front bodice on the fold it had me do a little flip-around thingy instead since there were really no other pieces to cut on the fold.
The front bodice has darts and pleats. I hadn’t done darts in forever, so I had to try to remember how they worked. I had to go online for a refresher video to remind me how to sew the triangles in and press them down. Ah yes, it was all coming back to me. They were so easy, I may start putting darts in everything now!
The pleats along the neckline were something I hadn’t done before so I watched a few online videos (like this one) and figured it out. I had some trouble with this research because there were a lot of references to box pleats and knife pleats and I had no idea what type this was. I still don’t actually know, but the video I found showed me a picture of a pattern that looked like mine. Works for me! The pattern markings had these sort of squares, and I figured out how to fold the material over, matching the dots on the squares and pin the pleats in place.
I then basted the pleats in place, down the front, just to keep them from going anywhere while stitched them together at the neckline.
Basting….I hate it. Oh, the tedium! But I put my hatred aside for this project and basted everything. With my small shoulders and rib cage, I usually have a bit of trouble fitting a bodice to my shape, so I basted all the pieces first before I stitched to make sure I had the right fit. I think the extra work paid off, because the bodice seems to fit me pretty well. I think this pattern is pretty well suited for me too as the pleats probably help with the fit around my small shoulders.
And next…more pleats! I sewed the ginormous skirt pieces together and started to figure out how the skirt pleats worked. For some reason these seemed harder than the neckline pleats. I had tried marking the fabric, but kept having issues, so finally I just drew in the dots on the wrong side and used those to match up the folds for the pleats. I made a couple attempts on these before they looked right, and I think they came out alright…
I will be adding a belt as the pattern suggests. This is how far I got this weekend as the next step is the scary invisible zipper! (oooohhhh!). Actually from what I’ve heard, it’s not that tough, so I’m excited to try it. The real reason I had to stop is because I couldn’t find the invisible zipper foot attachment, and my mom finally told me she had stored in the machine. So stay tuned for part 3….curses of the invisible zipper!
I almost put the title as The Wedding Dress Challenge, but changed it because I didn’t want people to think I was getting married, or worse yet attempting to make a wedding dress! Eeeps! A friend of mine is getting married on 4th of July weekend and I thought it would fun to wear something of my own creation. I may be eating my words later. But I feel like I have enough time to complete this task. Plus I’ve had this pattern that I’ve been dying to try and some lovely material I bought many months ago that is just itching to be used.
I know, it looks pretty complicated. But the rating says “easy” so I have some confidence in this project.
I had hoped to do some cutting on this today, but my day just got in the way. So check back to see my progress as I attempt my first special occasion dress.
Something Old: This pattern has been sitting in my collection for about 9 months, which is not too old, but older than other patterns I have.
Something New: It calls for an invisible zipper! I’ve never worked with one before and it looks like I need to use a special foot for it.
Something Borrowed: Technically I am borrowing my mom’s old sewing machine (only 10 years old), since she just bought a brand new one.
Something Blue: I think there is some navy blue in there somewhere.
I also need to get about 2 yards of lining material, which means another trip to the fabric store (hooray!). The material design kind of reminds me of a water color painting, which I think will look nice as a wedding dress. As in dress for wedding….you get the idea.
Okay! I will keep you updated on the progress as I go. Wish me luck!
Yay! My mom’s serger is out of the shop and ready to go. So, time to sew some knits!
For those of you that don’t know what a serger is, it looks like this:
A lot of the clothes that you buy are made with a serger, which makes a certain type of stitch that finishes the edge while it sews. It was perfect for this cotton stretch knit material I bought and used to make this cute little top with kimono sleeves.
At first this looked like a top I could complete in a few hours, but I don’t have a ton of experience with knits and there were a few unforeseen challenges.
The first thing I realized was that I was going to have to match up the stripes. The back was two separate pieces so it needed to line up, which was accomplished by making sure the folded fabric was lined up. Matching the stripes on the side was slightly more difficult. There happened to be a line marking the waistline on both front and back pattern pieces. I used that line as a guide to set up the pattern pieces onto the same spot on one of the lines. Then I crossed my fingers and hoped it would all come out okay. Luckily it worked and if anything, this garment has stripes that are all lined up at the seams, side and back!
I would definitely make this pattern again. The top is extremely flattering and works really well with stretch knit material. The only real difficult part was the collar. Cutting a small, long strip out of this material is not easy, because it immediately rolls at the ends. Folding it in half was a real pain in the rear; even pressing it didn’t hold the shape well. I also needed to stretch the collar around neck opening, being careful to match up the back seam, shoulder seams, and center front with the markings on the pattern. This took up the most time, but I think it had a good result.
Since you can’t use pins with the serger (or at least not easily), I decided to stitch the pieces together first, then serge the seam afterward. I was really impressed at how neat and professional the edges looked and I’m relieved I don’t have to worry about the material unraveling. It also makes hemming easier, as you can serge the raw edge and then fold the material up once for the hem. I did this for the sleeves which definitely made my life easier, since they were already pretty short.
Hmmm….I just realized the pattern says it should take 2 hours to complete. Well, I definitely need to get better at making straighter hems with knit fabric in order to make that happen. I’m not sure why, I always think I’m sewing straight, but it ends up looking like an EKG reading. More practice I guess. Or maybe I need to start experimenting with that walking foot.
Definitely love the look of this. The collar seems like it could be adjusted to be a little smaller. I have very small shoulders and so the neckline lays pretty far off of them. But I absolutely love the sleeves and it came out pretty much as I envisioned.
Okay, so yesterday was my actual birthday. But I wanted to share this special present I received, which was this gorgeous sheer material from my mom.
I think it’s chiffon. Anyways, I need to figure out what I want to do with it. Especially since I was informed that I only own part of this, since my mom is going to give part of it to my sister. Typical. When I was growing up, my little sister always got a present on my birthday. Can you believe this is still going on, even with us in our 30’s?!
Oh well, there is actually plenty to go around. I’m thinking a nice flowy dress would be great for this. I also got some black lining material as well that will go very nicely.
I’m so behind on my projects. I actually cut out the material for a knit shirt last week, but I have had no time to even look at it. As you can see, this will be a great lesson in matching up stripes. I’m actually very excited about this shirt because I actually saw the material and envisioned what kind of shirt I wanted to make with it. I then did a thorough search for the perfect pattern to match what I wanted. Stay tuned for the post on this one…when I finally get around it it.
The chiffon material hasn’t fully inspired me yet, so if anyone has any suggestions, I am open to them.