Saturday, August 13, 2016

Cutting Line Designs, Pure and Simple Shell



This is one of those patterns that I often turn to when I need a simple top for warm weather (which is often here in Albuquerque). I currently have a couple of versions in rotation in my closet and I've made several others in past years.


This one came about when I was at my local JoAnn's picking up some thread for another project. Lately, thread has been a challenge. Although I have a whole drawer full, I never seem to have the color I need for a given garment (and recently, even ran out of white!). On my way to the thread, I noticed that the linen was on sale and a couple pieces of "tissue linen" (actually a linen and cotton blend) jumped into my cart. One of them was the bolt end of slightly less than 1 1/2 yards that became this top.

It was a pretty easy sew since I've made it several times before, so not much to say about construction except that Cutting Line's guide sheets are incredibly detailed, even for a simple top like this one. Unfortunately this pattern is out of print, but Louise Cutting has mentioned she may bring out something similar in the future.

I'll try to get a picture of this on me in the near future since the dress form really doesn't do it justice.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Cutting Line Designs, Simplify Your Life View B



This pattern has been out for a while, but it was a new one for me. I've been needing some simple garments for work since we're in jeans mode all summer long. Plus, Albuquerque is hot this time of year! Garments need to be light and airy for being outside in the heat, while also being layering pieces for air conditioning.

The top is fairly simple looking but the button band across the left shoulder and sleeve gives it that little something extra.


I love these shell buttons that came from Hancock's when they were going out of business.

I got the fabric at the ASG conference in San Diego last year; one of the vendors sold fabric that was literally in piles and you had to dig to find the fabric you wanted. I'm not sure of the fabric content but it's a voile. I originally thought it was poly but after sewing with it, I think it's a cotton/poly blend or maybe even cotton.

I barely had enough fabric, so had to be a bit creative in cutting. I would have preferred to have the flowers centered on both front and back, but there just wasn't enough. I think it's all right though.


As is typical for Cutting Line, the pattern has simple lines but is well-drafted with very detailed guide sheets. Also keep in mind that the designer, Louise Cutting, often does not have you assemble the garment in the order that you'd use for the typical Butterick/McCall/Vogue pattern.

Related to that, I found one little error in this pattern--if you follow the order of construction as written, you will make all of the buttonholes and attach all buttons before completing the side seams and sleeve hems.  However, the sleeve hem is very close the the last buttonhole and button, so hold off on sewing them until after the sleeve is hemmed.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Butterick 6324 View A Top



I bought this pattern because I was intrigued by the photo of the orange eyelet top on the envelope.


 I'd also been looking for a shirt style without facings that I could use with sheers and eyelets. And that hidden button placket was so cool!

I traced off the View A pieces since the pattern tissue combined multiple views as single pieces on the tissue (grrrr...). And then it sat.

Why? Because the hidden button placket consisted of several separate pieces seamed together. Holy bulk, Batman! So, I re-drew the placket and band so they would be part of each of the pattern fronts. A bit of a brain teaser but I eventually worked it out. Less bulk, many fewer seams, and much easier to  match patterns across the front of the garment. Below is a photo showing off the placket and collar:


You can see that the fabric is "ventilated", with the stripes woven with openwork. The pattern also features a collar with stand, which went together nicely.


Another change I made to add to the pattern was to provide some additional room in the hip area. Although the envelope went up to a 14, I needed a bit more room. :(  I used one of Louise Cutting's "Industry Insider Techniques" videos to add another 4 inches. The technique I used is in Volume 6. The DVDs are produced by Threads Magazine and have been very helpful to me. In my experience, many sewing techniques are easier to view than read.

The fabric is a novelty weave cotton print from JoAnn's, of all places! I was very pleased with how it handled during construction. Every one in a while, even they get it right. Of course they don't have anything like it in their stores now, but maybe they could bring it back...perhaps in some solid colors?

Overall, I liked how my test garment came out and I'll be wearing it a lot and making more like this. I'm also planning to tackle a couple of the other views too. View B has a contrast hidden placket that could be fun to play with. View C features lace overlays and back, which would work well with some sheer remnants I've acquired. View D's illustration looks very blah, but could become a nice basic without overlays, or more special with them.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

TSW Eureka


Slinky has fallen out of style, but I had a piece of it in a nice blue color that I really loved. I was tired of passing it by every time I made a knit garment, so I needed to find a pattern. Oh, and it was also short yardage, which meant that I had to find something that didn't use very much fabric.

Eureka Top to the rescue! Its simple shape and loose fit worked well with the Slinky and didn't take much time to make. The cutting probably took longer than the sewing. I changed the neckline so that the technique used is more like my TNT Kwiksew 2565. And I didn't tack up the cuffs, two layers of Slinky is enough, and almost too much. So, more like sleeves than cuffs. You'll notice in the photo below that I edge stitched the sleeve seam. Doing so helped flatten the seam which is thick with three layers of fabric (two for the sleeve and one for the garment).


Here's the drawing from the pattern envelope. Eureka is actually a twofer, with a skirt in addition to the top. I've also made the skirt a couple of times. It's fun to sew and wear, albeit a fabric hog.



Sunday, July 31, 2016

Another TSW Liberty Shirt


I've made this shirt several times and have been meaning to give it a rest, but work has intervened. We've been having "Red on Fridays" in honor of a coworker who's currently on assignment with the NM National Guard overseas, so I've been supplementing my work wardrobe with red garments.

I bought the red ikat cotton from Ann Silva's several years ago. She mostly sells quilting fabrics, but once in a while she gets other things like this! It was a joy to work with although the color was a bit tricky, since it's a cross weave. I auditioned several colors of thread and ended up using a Coats thread called "Tomato Bisque." The buttons were another surprise. I tried several different red buttons but these odd pink-ish ones looked the best with the fabric. I guess it goes to show that you have to look at the blend instead of individual threads when determining what will work best.


Once again, I used the collar I drafted instead of the one that came with the pattern. Just my preference.  As with the other versions I've made, this one went together easily.


I really like the Sewing Workshop pattern line. I like most of the releases and they have excellent instructions. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Tank from the Loes Hinse Tank Dress Group Pattern


Another remnant project. I used this fabric last year for a project that didn't work out and had just enough to sew this tank. The fabric is another Textile Studios purchase--a woven rayon with some texture.

 I have made this pattern several times before in both dress and tank versions.


However, I wanted the back to have a little bit more coverage so I don't always need to wear racer back underpinnings. My test worked so it's onward with other versions of this pattern!

The SewWest Closet: old black jeans from Ross, the Foster Grants, and Th!nk Birkenstock-style sandals (also old but I'll hate to give these up when they're worn out).




Wednesday, July 6, 2016

New Look 6892



OMG, I'm loving this peasant blouse! I've been looking for a peasant blouse pattern since they're on-trend right now. This pattern came together very easily and features multiple views for a variety of looks.




This one was kind of an experiment, so I used some rayon that I bought as a remnant from Denver Fabrics. It has a rumpled texture, so is perfect for warm weather.

The pattern uses bias tape for the casings but I just serged the raw edges to finish, turned under, and stitched the casings just wide enough for the 1/4" elastic to go through. Faster and much less bulk to worry about. For the cuffs, I used some lace seam binding left over from another project. I liked the ruffly cuffs but may change to a simple casing for the next long sleeved version as they are not terribly practical.

The SewWest Closet: the black jeans are old from Ross and the platforms are by Vigotti. Foster Grants again!