review · sewing

{ M7542 } in butterflies…

When this McCalls 7542 landed in my postbox early January, it was instant jubilation. Those sleeves just scream { SEW ME }. I went about cutting & sewing her up within a day or two but my excitement ended abruptly when I tried her on & realised she didn’t fit so well.

I was initially quite excited about this pattern as it boasts various cup sizes A-D. I had not fitted a pattern with optional cup sizes so I figured cutting my cup size would give me a good fit. Was I wrong. The bust darts sat horribly high & the whole bodice just felt too boxy & tight.

I finished her anyway & even wore her a few times but my heart just didnt connect.

Last week I took her out while I was sorting out my wardrobe & I figured since I dont wear her, I should just donate it but even though my heart didn’t connect to the fit, it beat to the fabric { SO LOUD } so donating just wasn’t an option. The fabric, btw, I purchased last year from Empire Textiles¬†and its a Mitex Holland Wax Print.M7542_1

I set about unpicking the areas that gave me issues. I started with the side seams to release those bust darts & I moved the darts down (at least an inch & a half) to give my bewbs more room & to co-incide with my real bust apex. Sorted! Next up I released the sleeve seams a little as I found the original seam made the sleeve just a bit too snug. I also stole a little space from the back seam & sewing up the final side seams I managed to steal some space here too.M7542_sleeve

M7542_2All of those changes resulted in a much better fitting top, one that I now just want to wear every single day. Its still boxy & short but summer is coming so woo-ha!

So I learnt two good things while sewing this top :

  1. Make more muslins!!!
  2. My body really has changed so much since having a baby. I lost so much weight post-partum & gained so much again since I stopped nursing that I really do need to admit that my bewbs just aren’t up north & perky no more! ūüôā

So, Is there another M7542 in my future ? Why yes, certainly. Its a basic boxy bodice with some lovely sleeve options so why not.

Till soon,

Ange x

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 ‚ā¨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 Рdirectly 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

pattern review · review · sewing

{ NEW LOOK 6150 } Protea lovin’…

Ive sewn New Look 6150 before, remember ? NewLook_6150_front

The reason I sewed it again is because I have a little crush…it fits so well { PLUS } I had this white knit lurkin’ in my stash for about 3 years so I figured Id better dig in while its still white. True, Ive had fabrics lurk in my stash much longer than 3 years but this white was looking particularly needy & with autumn knockin’ who doesnt need a plain white tee-type with some extra spunk?!

It was View E, again…you know, the one with the puffy sleeves & plain crew neck. Remembering the little bagginess I had with the first attempt at this tee, I cut the entire pattern one size smaller than last time. I also cut the back piece on the fold. Not only does it all fit better but I love that the back has no seam down the middle – so unnecessary IMO.¬†NewLook_6150_white1

I tackled the sleeve elastic without measuring anything prior this time. In other words, I took the long piece of elastic & just sewed it in, pulling the elastic as I went along…It gave me more control of the elastic & it meant I could use as much or as little as needed until I got the poofiness I was looking for. I simply snipped off when I was done. Far easier than using the elastic guide length included in the pattern & then not having enough to grip as you near the end.

And my twin needle came in excellent use again!

I had some left over fabric at the end so I thought maybe ¬†a flower or something ¬†could be pinned to the tee to give it some detail…as if the poofy sleeves aren’t enough. I played a little & came up with the protea so I drew it out, cut & started to sew randomly. I stitched it straight onto the tee, without any backing or interfacing….straight on. I wanted it to stay soft & take the shape of the tee rather than feel stiff & badge-like. I was quite impressed with the end result. What do you think of my fabric protea ?¬†NewLook_6150_protea

I doubt I will ever grow bored of this pattern. Its one of those that hit the favourite list at first sew. Its easy & it doesnt munch up stacks of fabric so I may just head to the fabric store next week & grab a navy & black or a red to make another one or two or three.¬†I have to go into the fabric store anyway because remember the Vogue 8827 ¬†I mentioned was on the cutting table? …yeah well, I dont have enough fabric…but I am determined to make it in the berry colour jersey.

¬†Well my friends, Monday my german course kicks off…can you hear the enthusiasm?! Im expecting next week to be one big headache, literally. I know Im not going to drink or eat enough while Im in class & just the sheer shock of having to do german all day, every day is going to be ¬†headache inducing. Perhaps my sewing will come to the rescue on the afternoons I have off – lets see.

Whatever your’e up to this weekend, stay safe xx

pattern review · sewing

{ NEW LOOK 6150 } Autumn ruching…

Ive been doing a fair bit of jersey/knit sewing recently & this top caught my eye when I saw Annika’s version in a stripe. Before my pattern even arrived, I had selected fabric from my stash. I went for the floral matte jersey I had left over from the Butterick 4788 dress I made a few years ago. Can I just say until now Ive always loved seeing twin needle work & Ive always had a twin needle (three in fact) but never used them. I wasnt scared of trying it, I was just lazy to try it I guess. While I was sewing the DKNY LBD, I made a promise that I would make use of the twin needle whenever I sewed my next jersey/knit. Boy am I glad I did. How easy does the twin needle make sewing knits??? ¬†{ INSANELY EASY }NewLook_6150_front Anyway, I used the twin needle for the first time on this top & its { LOVE AT FIRST STITCH }. I cant get enough. It was in no way perfect but DAMN it looks sooo much better than a single stitch. Now I just want to sew everything with a twin needle. I need to tweek my tension because I think its making too much of a welt between the 2 lines of stitching. The curse of the computerised machines means Im battling to figure out how to adjust my bobbin tension but I will conquer. Ok, moving along…

{ DESCRIPTION }  New Look 6150 knit top with various options. I sewed View E which is a basic crew neck with ruched sleeve detail

{ FABRIC USED } A floral matte jersey

{ SIZING } For the most part pretty spot on. I do have some loose fabric around the upper arms but I will get to that…

{ INSTRUCTIONS } For the view that I made, instructions were not necessary but I browsed them over anyway.

{ CHANGES / ALTERATIONS } Initially I sewed in the exact length elastic they advised via the elastic guide however I didnt think it gave me sufficient ruching so I removed the elastic, cut it slightly shorter & stretched it more to give a nicer, fuller ruching. I still would like the upper sleeve to be poofier but hey ho, I know this is not the last one Im going to make so I will make the adjustment on the next. At¬†the underside of my sleeves I have some baggy-ness so next time I know to cut the whole sleeve slightly smaller. I did not use binding around the neck as advised, I ironed on some bias tape & then turned it over & stitched it down using the twin needle. Again, its not perfect but for a first timer using the twinny, I think its good! Also, Im not entirely sure this top needs a seam down the back to be honest. I think the next attempt will have no seam & maybe a size smaller…lets see.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } ** Easy, however anything with sleeves automatically gets another *.

{ TIME } A couple of hours – I didnt really check on this one.

{ SUM IT UP } Such a basic T-shirt pattern but the ruched sleeves give it a little kick in the ass & I like that. To make this top fit the last of the fabric I really had to do some genius cutting which had me scratching my head for a bit but it worked & Im so glad I took the time to find a solution. I reckon I can wear this summer & winter but I am looking forward to layering this with scarves & light jackets for autumn. NewLook_6150_back Sewing has been a little slow of late because we are having an awesome summer. When I sit & sew I feel bad because the sun is shining & I should be outdoors enjoying but then when I sit in the sun & think about sewing I feel torn Рfirst world pains huh !!   { PFFFT }NewLook_6150_sleeve

knit

{ KNIT } Its ready when it sizzles…

sizzleThe Sizzle is 100% complete. { HOORAY }

I think I started this mid-Feb when I was still on the couch recovering with the ankle shackle. It actually knitted up fairly fast however I tend to only knit in the evenings & for some weeks I did not lift this at all so all in all, I would say it took me about a month and a half excluding the mini vacations in between.

{ THE YARN } I used Rowan 100% Handknit Cotton in Bleached as advised & I cant rave about this yarn enough. Its so beautiful, soft & extreme white – I just want this yarn in every single colour possible….my life would then be complete! ¬†I ordered 6 balls and I used { EVERYTHING }.sizzle_closeup

{ THE PATTERN } You will find the Sizzle in the Whisper book by Kim Hargreaves. Pictured it was in the white and I was quite tempted to do this in red, but Im glad I went for the white because I have so much more to wear it with. The pattern was not terribly complicated however at first I was quite confused by the pattern & had to frog back a few times before getting it right. Even though I consider myself a beginner, I found this easy enough to knit guided by some YouTube tuts to explain the things I didnt understand fully.  Its a basic knit and purl stitch  with a twist in every couple of rows by adding a YRN2 or YRN3 to create the ladder pattern you see. Effective and easy! I followed the pattern exactly and I did not have sufficient yarn to do the sleeves however once I finished the back & front, I realised I dont need the sleeves so I left them off & didnt bother ordering another ball to do these.

The pattern repeat bit is shown in chart form as opposed to written out so I wrote the pattern out as I found it easier to follow and duplicate as I went along. To be honest, since the ladder is so random, adding an extra YRN2 here or there was not going to make any difference so dont stress too much about very single stitch.sizzle_1

The seams are tricky to do at the YRN2 edges because there is nothing to stitch into and I did see a few of the other knitters over on Ravelry advise to not YRN2 right off to the end but to include a normal knit stitch to allow for the seaming to be easier. { GOOD IDEA }

Sizing wise :  Im disappointed that its so big in width. I would probably knit this 1 or even 2 sizes smaller if I were to make it again however I dont think I need 2 of these anyway. I placed my bets that a wash & a { HOT } dryer session would shrink it sufficiently to make me happier & guess what ??? { IT WORKED РKINDA }. It shrunk the length to exactly what it should be for me & although it shrunk the width, its still not sufficient enough, for me. In the book you can see the Sizzle is wider than your average sweater but for me, this ease is a little too much.

I would recommend this pattern, its fun & interesting & it looks harder than it really is.  Thanks for stopping by x

 

chit-chat · sewing

{ MOJO } Missing…

Ive lost my sewing mojo… searched high & low – cannot freakin’ find it. I was doing so well too, especially after completing the satisfying V1027 & the BS Frilly & finally finishing the V8601 riding coat. Is it possible I may have overindulged??!!

On the up side, it does mean the Sizzle is getting some action. Just over half way through the back which leaves just the sleeves to be done { HOWEVER } Im not kidding, but it looks like I may not have sufficient yarn {BALLS}. Hmm….I may have to don the Sizzle sans sleeves…

AND ITS STILL FREAKIN’ SNOWING !!!

Any ideas on ridding oneself of the indigestion caused from overindulgence ? Im all ears…