pattern review · sewing

{ KWIK SEW 3488 } The Shirt-dress…

i’ve been wanting to make  forevs…

I had seen an image in a magazine yonks ago & thought the idea of creating a focus down the middle using contrasting buttons quite genius. After settling on the Kwiksew 3488 pattern, I found a lovely weight 100% white linen at my local fabric store for €6/m & knew it was a match made in heaven. KwikSew3488_front01

This was the first Kwiksew pattern Ive used & I have to be honest & give credit where credit is due. First of all, I love that its printed onto heavier weight paper than the tissue most pattern companies use. It just makes more sense because Im not the sewer that traces…I cut that darn pattern & I use it. The only time I trace is when I notice the pattern battling after multiple abuse….& of course those dreaded BurdaStyle traces. I also love that the paper is { WHITE }. Probably because the writing is easier to see…I dont know, I just prefer it to the brown tissue. Also, most of the writing is in dark blue but the really important text like “PLACE ON FOLD” or cut 1 “ON FOLD” is in red as well as the pattern piece numbers. Sure, these are small details but I dig small details!!! The thing I love most though are the colour coded size lines. XS is in light mauve, S is in light red/pink, M is in light blue & so on. { GENIUS }. It makes following your size so much easier. Again, small deets but you know…

**edit** after publishing this post yesterday Ive had a few ladies mention that since KS was taken over by the McCalls group, the patterns are now printed onto the same brown tissue as the Vogue, Butterick, McCalls etc. This is rather disappointing to hear obviously however Im also quite surprised this is the case because I purchased this pattern from the US recently – directly from McCalls. It could be it was old stock & thats why the pattern was still on the thicker paper?!? Just wanted to clarify incase anyone goes out to buy their patterns based on my review only to find tissue!

The instruction sheet is also printed onto white paper rather than the drab brown but hey ho, whatevs floats your boat. Where some other brands show little diagrams of which side the pattern piece should be laid for cutting ie. right side up etc, these instructions you do have to read..no diagrams. I prefer the diagrams for quick reference but the text is also fine so I highlighted it for quick reference next time. The actual sewing instructions were also really good. This wasn’t a difficult project & I couldnt find any reference to what level of sewer would find this suitable but I would say an advanced beginner with experience sewing buttonholes & topstitching could take this on without a problem. KwikSew3488_front02 KS3488_back

The body measurements listed on the back of the envelope indicated I should sew the L but once I saw the finished garment measurements on the actual pattern piece, I went for the M & Im glad I did.  There is a certain amount of ease allowed for but ease is such a controversial subject. Some people like lots of ease, some like very little. I think it also depends on the style of garment & your body shape really.

Because this was my first Kwiksew pattern, I decided to leave the topstitching until as late as possible. I needed to fit it & I certainly didnt want to have to unpick masses of double topstitch…because almost every seam calls for double topstitch but you can leave those off if you like too – its ups to yous. Most of the seams I topstiched with a twin needle giving it a really nice finish. After sewing so much silk & jersey recently, the linen was a darn dream. I sewed the shorter version, with short sleeves & no pocket flaps. KS3488_stitching_detail

Next big decision – the { BUTTONS }…I had black buttons in mind because I wanted to create that focus but then I found bronze ones…the mind boggled! I took to Instagram for help & some of you voted black, some of you voted bronze – so thanks for that!!! I eventually found these lovely black domed buttons with silver splatter on them. I liked the shape & feel so I went with those. You might also notice I placed my buttons at closer intervals than the pattern suggested which meant almost double the amount of buttonholes. Luckily my Sapphy has the one-step buttonhole feature so sewing those were easy as pie. Once the buttons were stitched on, I blind hemmed & she was done.I wonder if the buttons prevent it from looking too doctor-ish though….because it feels a little doctor-ish. What do you think ?? KS3488_buttons

The dress is really comfortable, belted or not…& in linen perfect for the hot weather we’re having & Im hoping the linen will keep softening with every wash too. Im lucky enough to work from home so this kind of dress fits my lifestyle incredibly well. I just have to slip on a pair of cute flats or my over-worn nude espadrilles & Im ready to go should I need too.KwikSew3488_front04

Im definitely sewing her again, perhaps with 3/4 sleeves in a lightweight denim & red topstitch or chambray….or even with cap-sleeves??!!?

Have a good weekend & till next time,

A x

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sewing

{ JUNGLE } Jammin’…

I went shopping for a piece of jersey knit last week. I needed only 1.2m of knit. Thats all.

I walked out with 2m of stretch denim, 1.2m of the knit and 3m of this :

Jungle_madness

It feels & looks like a cotton voile but its a viscose voile…or so he says. Im gonna have to do the burn test & see what gives but isn’t it so crazyprwiddy. The colours are a wild combination of yellow, orange, blues, purple…. { YUMMMMMMMMMMMM YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM }.

pattern review · sewing

{ VOGUE 1127 } Denim basics…

Hello friends…

Last year I was on somewhat of a “basics” kick for some time & this little denim project fitted right in. I had a metre of medium weight denim lounging around my stash for a while & decided to put it to good use. I had purchased a denim skirt a few years ago that I really love but since loosing some weight, its just become bulky around the waist which I do need to take apart & adjust – just haven’t had the time { YOUKNOWHOWITGOES }.

I chose the skirt from the Vogue 1127 Badgley Mischka pattern because it looked like just the right kind of simple; with just two little darts on the back waist, a zip to the centre back & a little slit to the back. What more does a basic need to be.  Here you can see it teamed together with the Liesl & Co Weekend Getaway Blouse which I cant believe received so many oohs & aahs. Thank you so much, you guys rock! Liesl&co_weekend_getaway_blouse

Since I was using denim, I chose not to line the skirt. I only used the waist facings which I cut from some gloriously purple underwear fabric. I have no idea what FABRIC it is, its kinda stretchy but not….but it feels like a dream & the colour is so oh-la-la. I matched my thread to the purple & topstitched the side seams on either side of the seam. I also used the purple to stitch in the zip & used my bar tack stitch to sew down my back slit with a giant arrow screaming {LOOK AT MY ASS}. Love it! In the pic it looks like one side is narrower, but honestly, its just the way the fabric was hanging….I triple checked – the arrow is accurate 🙂  To finish the skirt off, I turned the hem up 6cm & blind hemmed it. Vogue_1127_stitch_detailVogue_1127_skirt_detail_back

I cut the skirt at my size which I usually have no problems with. Unfortunately, this time it was too big. Id rather have too big than too small so I  increased the size of the back darts equally & reattached the waist band. I would benefit from a snuggier fit by taking in the side seams but I ain’t gonna be doing that.Vogue_1127_contrast_dart

Whats not to love? Well, absolutely nothing. Ive been wanting to give the little pussybow top included in this pattern a go but Ive got so many pussybow tops already, could a girl really need another? Come to think of it, the little cropped jacket included here is also very cute…maybe I’ll give that a go too.

Ok, thats all from me for now. xx

pattern review · sewing

{ NEW LOOK 6003 } The tame animal skirt…

I was instantly all over this pattern because of the lovely variations of skirts offered. Although it shows a couple peplum options together with a standard basic pencil skirt, you could absolutely go mad with alterations to custom this skirt to anything you need it to be. I love skirts with back vents so this pattern is a winner for many reasons.

I chose View E not because I wanted to be boring but because once I had selected the fabric I knew adding a peplum would just add too much “wild” & the fabric was wild enough. NewLook_6003_skirt_front

{ DESCRIPTION } New Look 6003, pencil skirt in various lengths, with back vent and various peplum options.

{ FABRIC USED } The fabric is a stretch cotton, think stretch denim & your’e heading in the right direction.  The fabric was a printed panel. I cut the front from the upper part and the back from the lower part of the panel. I like how the patterns are so different but the colouring is the same and doesn’t look mis-matched….or does it?

{ SIZING } I cut my usual size however it was a little too big. I removed at least an inch off both side seams and little more than an inch over the hips. Once I got the waist & hips fitted, the length of View E just looked rather frumpy so I chopped off 4 inches and then I pegged in the hem & used my french curve to shape the sides so the skirt gives a bit more of an hourglass shape than a straight pencil skirt. Due to the stretchiness of the fabric, it works really well however I dont think I  would do this if the fabric were non-stretch.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } I did not use the instructions. This is a basic pencil skirt, you really cant go wrong.

{ CHANGES / ALTERATIONS } Instead of installing a normal zip or an invisible one, I installed an exposed zip! { WHAT ?? } Oh yeah, an exposed zip! I used the Gretchen Hirsch tutorial  which explains how to do this & I think it looks pretty cool. I chose a white zip with silver metal teeth & its by no means a perfect installation but its pretty good for a first attempt. Word of warning & if you’ve already tried this method, you will know already – but installing an exposed zip challenges everything you already know about installing a zip. They go in so differently to a regular zip that you almost start to question your sanity. Rest assured though, it looks great & its so easy to do that once I was done I started seriously contemplating why every zip is not installed this way…it makes life much easier.

More changes….Hmmmm…oh yeah. Once I sewed on the waistband, instead of hand stitching the facing under, I sewed the facing on normally with raw edges & finished the whole lot with bias tape to hide the raw edging and give a better finish. I could do that all by machine which means I avoided the handstitching all together. { BONUS } NewLook_6003_skirt_bindings

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } * For me this was an easy sew & I would recommend it to a beginner, perhaps a slightly experienced beginner.

{ TIME } This skirt took me around 4-5 hours.NewLook_6003_skirt_side

{ SUM IT UP }  This skirt was definitely an experiment & for various reasons. I had wanted to experiment with fabric pattern ie. the animal print on one side and the grass etc on the other. I also wanted to try an exposed zip somewhere along the line because I had never tried before….but I didnt start this project with those plans in mind, it kinda just fell together as things evolved.

Overall, I really like the results and I like patterns that are simple and therefore allow for maximum self expression through additions and changes to make them unique. This New Look 6003 certainly fits that bill so its fast become one of my favourite patterns.

Ok, til next time x

pattern review · sewing

{ COMPLETED } Fiesta Denim shorts…

NewLook6100_pocket_trimI called these the Fiesta shorts because they make me { SOOOOO } incredibly happy…& I think it has more to do with the peek-a-boo colour than anything else.

While I was sewing these shorts, I had an epiphany – Im pretty darn pleased with every single New Look pattern that I have ever used. I find their fit so spot on therefore minimizing fitting issues & baggy this or gaping that. I just love how true & tested these patterns seem to be. Sure, Ive sewn one or two that Ive had choice words for (& in hindsight the problems have probably been me making stupid decisions about fabric choice or short cuts etc), but in the big scheme of things, I seem to be far more pleased with this pattern company than some of the other big names.NewLook6100_front

The weather has been disappointing & rather chilly the past couple of days so I will have to wait for a good sunny day to wear these & photograph them in action. Will update pics when I do so. The Fiesta shorts did not disappoint….so here are the deets :

{ DESCRIPTION }  New Look 6100 from the WORKROOM / Project Runway collection. 2 styles of shorts – one straight leg with cuffs & one flared leg, both with waistbands, pockets & optional waist tie.NL6100

{ FABRIC USED } I blogged about my fabric choice but incase you missed that, I used a light-ish weight denim which I pre-washed before cutting. The denim has a geometric pattern which is not printed on, its actually a burnout…or at least thats what I think its called. For the pocket facings & waist facings, I used a burnt orange taffeta I had in my off-cuts stash.NewLook6100_facing_fabric

{ SIZING } I cut my normal size & had no problems.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } I glossed over but did not refer to them too often. These shorts are pretty basic.

{ CHANGES } I omitted the waist tie so therefore by default omitted the carriers. I also wanted some colour so instead of using the denim for the pockets facings & waist facings, I used the burnt orange taffeta which worked really well & I love the peek-a-boo pop of colour. I had mentioned that I was thinking about using a white cotton embroidery anglaise or something similar for the edges but once I saw the indigo blue & burnt orange together, it just seemed like a match made in heaven. Instead of machine stitching the waist facing down after folding back, I hand stitched which took forever but I prefer it.

I also inserted my zip on the right side. Just because! I did not have a navy zip or an invisible zip so I improvised with a regular black zip. Instead of fussing with making a lapped zip cover to accommodate the regular zip, I simply stitched the zip in the wrong way. Yes it means the zip opens from the inside but who cares. Its in, its invisible & it works. Ok, its not { 100% } invisible  but its not freakin’ bad.

Instead of machine stitching the leg facings (ie. the turn-ups) to the underside, I decided to hand stitch them to the understand thereby allowing me the flexibility to wear the shorts without turning up the bottoms if I wanted to without having the stitch lines showing…{ AH HUH }.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } * Easy peasy!

{ TIME } I sewed this together in a couple of hours including screwing around with my trim choice. The handstitching added extra time to my clock but this was a personal preference that does not need to be done.

{ SUM IT UP } I really love these. They are comfie & depending on what fabric you use, they can be super casual or quite dressy. I can imagine these in a polka dot, I can see them in a stripe, the lovely Erica B made an awesome denim pair with stars, but sew them up in a black with gold trim perhaps & you have a chic pair of shorts to pair with a blazer. Im pretty sure this denim pair will not be my last & I love that the pockets open up so many opportunities for creativity – piping, lace trim, ribbon, ric-rac, funky bindings, fun fabrics – the possibilities are endless.

Perhaps its my choice in fabric but without the turn-ups they can look a little pajama-bottom-ish…it may also be because I left off the waist tie. But paired with a nice white cotton frilly tee-shirt, Im thinking PJ-ish or not, they are going to get lots of wear.

Highly recommended ! NewLook6100_pocket_trim1NewLook6100_inner

{ BTW } that nail colour Im wearing that happens to match the shorts so well is Catrice Squeeze Me. Its a really dark charcoal grey with a hint of blue but it has these beautiful gold shimmer undertones in natural light. Im finding it the perfect alternative to my usual black. Catrice_SqueezeMe

sewing

{ ON THE CUTTING TABLE } Denim shorts…

I mentioned many weeks back that I was wanting to make these New Look 6100 shorts. I was not settled on the fabric choice so I decided to “sit” on it until the fabric choice was clear.

A week or so ago I had to pop into the fabric store for some lining & zips…lo & behold there sat the most amazing denim. So unusual, I just had to have a piece. There was not much fabric left on the bolt but it was sufficient to have the piece I needed. The salesman pointed out that there would be less than a metre left on the bolt after my cut so he offered the remainder to me at a very reduced price – I couldn’t say no. { AND } I promise I did not plan that *evil grin*

Denim_NL6100

Slowly becoming view A  & Im so excited to see these finished. I have thought about playing with a trim, perhaps a cotton embroidery anglaise peeking out the bottom or some cotton lace…maybe a little piping ??!! Lets see.

Last week I had asked about your experience (if any) with sewing & weight loss etc. The general consensus was to stitch things with knits etc to allow for the change in sizes which I have been doing. I considered those thoughts with this project but ended up deciding I dont give a damn…I want shorts. end.of.story!! 🙂