Just “Another” Pinch

JAP Front

I completed another Just A Pinch vest. This one made from a lightweight cotton/linen blend fabric purchased at Hancock’s (Boo Hoo to the loss of Hancocks – we are all still in mourning).

No changes to this from the previous vest.  I had added a bust dart, along with center back seam for my round back adjustment.

JAP 1Indoor picture because it has been too hot and humid here to be posing outside.  I also made the t-shirt underneath.  I used V1363 again, and did an experiment.  I removed the bust and back shoulder darts.  Because the knit is so lightweight, I thought darts would be too noticeable.  I am happy with the result.

V1363
V1363

This fabric for this vest is a very neutral beige color and needed something to amp it up.  The t-shirt fabric is a rayon spandex I picked up at Joann on sale.  It is very soft and I like the print and soft colors.  The knit was easy to sew too – it doesn’t curl on the cut edges.
JAP stitchingClose-up of the top-stitching I did.  This is on the collar; I used a rayon embroidery thread and the built-in Sashiko stitch on my sewing machine.  It is very subtle, but since topstitching was needed, might as well let it stand out a little more than matching thread would.

 

Side view:

JAP side

Next post will be for another Cutting Line Designs pattern…stay tuned.

 

Vogue 1033 + StyleArc mashup

In my previous sewing post I gave you a sneak preview of my next project.  This was a test embroidery pattern I was planning to add to a blouse.  Mostly I was testing the colors and deciding on the correct stabilizer.  As you can see, this fabric/design combination needed a heavier stabilizer to support the embroidery so the shirting would not pucker around the design.

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My shirt:

SA Marley

 

Inspiration:  I was seeing a lot of striped shirts in RTW with embroidery.  I added some Pins to my Tailored shirts Pinterest page.

Here is one of them:

Striped shirt embroidery

My fabric is a lightweight, yellow and white striped, cotton shirting with a little bit of stretch. Fabric came from FabricMart Fabrics a few years ago. One thing I noticed was that the embroidery designs on the shirts I was seeing were quite dense.   Given that the fabric has some spandex, I needed to use a lighter weight design and the correct weight of stabilizer.  I looked at all my hundreds of floral embroidery patterns and there was nothing that was calling to me.  So I got online, went to Hatched in Africa and downloaded this grouping.

I was looking for a more contemporary type of floral pattern and really liked all the designs in this package.

I initially planned to use the StyleArc Marley woven shirt.  I was looking for a loose-fitting shirt that would be cool for summer.  I could wear it alone or over a tank top as a shirt jacket.  I made a test garment of this pattern and did not like the fit at all.  Shoulders too wide, sleeve too large, dart too low.

MARLEY-SHIRT[1]

I did like the way the sleeve hem and the hem on the bottom of the StyleArc (SA) shirt were done. I also loved the collar.  It is not a typical shirt collar with a stand; it is more like a camp shirt collar that is open, which would be cooler for summer.  But, it has a shaped piece at the back of the collar that helps the collar stand up. I really liked this feature, as it makes the collar a better fit for my short neck.  So, I could either 1) spend lots of time drafting a new pattern with these features, or 2) do a mash-up with a pattern that would require less effort.  I chose the second option.

Enter Vogue 1033.  Another Today’s Fit pattern by Sandra Betzina.  I haven’t made this before, but knowing the Sandra’s pattern fit works for me, I decided to use this as a base for a shirt and add the Style Arc features that I mentioned above.

V1033

I added a little length to the bottom so I could create the slits and wide hem.  I used the sleeve without the cuff and cut it the same length as the SA pattern sleeve.  There is a deep hem on the sleeve too, so I can leave it longer, or turn it up as a cuff creating a 3/4 length sleeve.

The SA collar fit on the neckline of the Vogue pattern, so no alteration needed.

The collar inside and out along with the pattern pieces.

Outside of collar

 

Inside collar

Collar pattern pieces

A better picture of the front embroidery:

Front embroidery

I added a small embroidery to the back of the blouse.

Back of blouse

The back of the blouse is a little big, but comfy for the summer.

Next:  Travel tips from my vacation!

 

 

Vogue 1504 – Done with wool for now

My latest garment is another Today’s Fit by Sandra Betzina pattern.  I have been enjoying making and wearing vests lately.  The pattern envelope:

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I made the longer version from a basketweave, lightweight wool suiting.  This fabric was purchased from FabricMart Fabrics in July 2017.  I lined the vest with a beige Bemberg rayon, my go-to lining fabric.  It is lightweight and breathes.

I made my usual changes to the pattern – rounded back adjustment, smaller size in shoulders and moving out 1 size in bust and hips.  This does seem to run a little big.  I made a muslin, which fit fine.  But somehow the wool may have stretched from handling and the vest is ‘roomy’.  But that is ok – I can wear a sweater under it if I want to.

I wanted a piping around the collar and front edge, so I stole one of my husband’s neck ties.  He rarely wears a tie and has a lot of them left over from when he wore a tie to work every day.  I took the tie apart, cut it into 2″ strips and made piping.  Why use a tie for piping?  Because it is already cut on the bias, is made of silk and is colorful.  Very little of the piping shows, so it is a subtle accent.  And when you have taken the tie apart, you have tie interfacing (also cut on the bias) to use for easing sleeves into jackets.  The filling for the piping is rattail cord, which is what I usually use.  Here is a left-over piece of the tie fabric.

Tie fabric for piping

A close-up of the piping on the vest:

Piping close-up

And the completed vest:

Vest Front

There are pockets in the front; the bottom front is a separate piece from the upper front, so the pockets are incorporated into the seam.

The back is quite interesting – although I am not sure how I will like wearing it.  Unfortunately I just finished the vest and it was 90 degrees today.  So not sure it will get much wear until the fall.  The temperature may cool down next week, though and I will test-drive the vest.

The back:

Vest back

Hmm – I did press this – looks like it needs a bit more pressing.

Sandra Betzina’s website is powersewing.com.  She has over 250 videos available to watch and there is one that walks through how to make this vest.  It wasn’t hard, and the instructions are very good because they are written by Sandra.  But watching the video helps give perspective on how the pieces go together, particularly if you are a more visual person.

Moving on to spring/summer sewing…I am working on a yellow and white striped shirt.  I am doing a franken-pattern of two shirt patterns.  I have been searching the web for shirts with stripes and embroidery and have stored them on this page.

Sneak preview of what is coming up:

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The Contest Entry

Sandra Betzina, designer of Today’s Fit patterns for Vogue recently held a contest.  Sandra also has a website, Power Sewing.  The contest was called “Inspire and Layer Yourself”.  Here is a description of the contest and prize.

ENJOY! IT’S WINTERTIME OR GET A JUMP ON SPRING
Because there are so many creative people using Today’s Fit patterns, Power Sewing would like you to share your creativity with us. Since this season is all about warm, fun and classic layering, Power Sewing is having a contest. Make one of the 4 Today’s Fit Patterns (V1574, V1569, V1564, V1540) and send us photos of anything you would like to enter.

The coat/jacket/topper/tabard will be judged on (1) overall impression, (2) creativity, (3) use of fabric and detailing, (4) execution.

And the prizes for the winner:

1 Lucky winner will receive the grand prize of:
1 signed copy of Sandra Betzina’s All New Fabric Savvy book
• 1 Ron Collins Vogue Men’s Pattern, V9290
• 2 Power Sewing Skill Series DVDs: DVD#6-Pocket Particulars and DVD#3 Pillows With A Punch
• 1 Fast Fit book by Sandra Betzina
• 2 Mystery Sandra Betzina Out-of-Print patterns
• Nifty Notions Brass Seam Ripper
• Collins Wash Away Wonder Tape
• Trio of Schmetz needles
• Buttons from Sandra’s special stash
• Mystery bag of sewing notions
• 1 copy of book 111 Places in San Francisco That You Must Not Miss
                         Grand Prize Valued at $250

So, I entered my latest version of Vogue 1540.

 

Vogue 15410 on form

The main fabric is from a gray, quilted polyester knit fabric. The quilting was done with silver metallic threads. I did not quilt the fabric; this was in my resource center and has aged quite well. The reverse of this fabric is black with silver thread stripes – quite gaudy for me. The solid is a lightweight rayon/spandex gray knit that matches exactly.  I applied a whisper weight interfacing to the band to make it have the same body as the quilted fabric.  I did not make any fitting changes to this version, but I did shorten the front pattern piece and band about 3 inches.  I am happier with this length than the front length of my previous version.  The trim was purchased from JoAnn Fabrics with the help of my hubby.  It is a polyester organza fabric sewn to a piece of mesh in such a way that it looks like fur.  Here is a close-up on the jacket.

trim close_up

And the backside of the trim so you can see how it is sewn to the mesh.

back of trim

I did not have enough quilted fabric for the sleeves, so I got creative.  There is an insert in the sleeve, so I decided to cut the insert and the top portion of the sleeve (just above where the insert ends) from the quilted fabric; and cut the rest of the sleeve from the solid fabric.  I did not interface the solid fabric on the sleeve.  Hard to describe but here is how the sleeve looks.

Jarvis Details

So, how did I do in the contest?  I received a honorable mention!  This was really the first contest I entered, so it was exciting.  Sandra sent a very kind email to me complimenting my work and creativity.   She also sent a small gift; one of her patterns and a piece of trim.  I have been thinking about making that coat, so now that I have the pattern I will add it to my very long list of things I want to make.

Contest gift

Update:  A post is on Sandra Betzina’s blog showing the winner and honorable mentions.

As Sandra’s note said ..”Happy Sewing”!

See you next time.

Catching up – part two

Catching up on a few items from 2017.

There were a couple of other items I completed in 2017.  The first item I mentioned in the last post – a top that I wore during the holidays.  This was the 4th version I made from this pattern.  The pattern is a download from Lekala Patterns.    I made  pattern number 4284.  Here is a picture of it.

Lekala 4284

This is a knits-only pattern and is definitely a “business in the front, party in the back” top.  You can create a bow effect with the back yoke.  I have made 2 versions like that, and 2 versions with the back closed up.

You can order ‘made to measure’ patterns from Lekala.  You enter your measurements on the site and you can also add optional measurements or body type items (high bust, narrow shoulders, etc) to get a better fit.  It takes a couple of trials so they do offer a few free patterns.  You can do a test with the free one; it helps you to know how the software calculates.  I have gotten a pretty good fit from these.  The only caveat is ease.  Their patterns don’t have a lot of ease, and their knit patterns have negative ease (meaning the pattern will be smaller than your measurements).  I have increased my tummy and hip measurement to get more ease there.

The reason I like this pattern is because of the set-in sleeve.  Most patterns for knits with a front yoke have a cut-on or dolman sleeve.  I have tried that look and I don’t like it on me.  A set-in sleeve is a much better look for me.

My latest version was made with a sequin fabric for the front and back yokes, and sleeves.  I used a lighter weight ponte for the lower front and back.

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Back of top, with the yoke attached to the lower back.

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Lekala sparkly top

My first version was from a denim knit and a navy cotton knit fabric.  (Sorry for the wrinkles; the top was in summer storage and I brought it out for these photos).  The front:

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The back

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My second was a ‘winter version’.  I used a sweater knit remnant given to me by a friend for the yokes.  I used a ponte knit for the lower front, back and sleeves.  The back is not ‘open’ since this a cooler weather version.  Not sure why the color is off – the lower front, back and sleeves are a caramel color.

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My third version has the open back and I used a poly spandex knit (with glued-on sequins) I picked up at a sewing retreat for the front and back yokes, and sleeves.  I used the black ponte for the lower front and back.

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(I know…black is not my color).

These tops are pretty easy and once you have made one, they can be made up quickly.

Second Catch-up Item:

When I was at the Mulberry Silks retreat with Sandra Betzina, I did a muslin for Vogue 1385.

V1385

Line Drawing:

V1385 Line Drawing

I had a couple of reasons for making this. I like the neckline and I wanted to test out the raglan sleeve.  I have had good luck with Today’s Fit patterns so was hoping the raglan would work and it did.  Adjustments were minimal.  Normal round back adjustment and that was it.  This is a comfortable shirt.  I tested it with a quilting cotton so this is definitely a wearable muslin. I did wash the fabric in advance and it is very soft and comfortable.  I plan to make at least one more of these.  Then I might try to figure out how to use the raglan feature but change the neckline.  But that won’t be for a while I’m sure.

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Lastly, we went to a New Year’s Eve neighborhood party.  I love making dessert and when I saw these on line, I had to have them.

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Candy cups you can fill with stuff, that are wearing tuxedos!  How cute is that?  So here is what I made.

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I made red velvet mousse and cheesecake mousse.  I used a pastry bag with tip and piped in the red velvet mousse first, then topped it with the cheesecake mousse and some graham cracker crumbs.  Everyone loved them and I had fun making them.

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This is the last of the 2017 items.