Monthly Archives: May 2009

When to say When

I wore my new tops made from Kwik-Sew 3616 this past week and decided that I am totally in love with this pattern! And, BTW, the mismatch at the center front of my paisley top was not noticeable in the least once it was on – yay!

When you are short, as I am, volume is a little tough to wear as there is always the risk that it will overwhelm. The nice thing about this top is that it’s fitted through the torso to balance out the volume of the sleeves. The sleeves are also a dream to wear when it’s hot and humid as they allow for air circulation.

I would love many more of these tops but how many is too many? How different can I make them look? Will everyone notice that it’s the same pattern? Or is it just something that we notice because we sew?

As I was putting laundry away this morning, I realized that I tend to be a multi-buyer in RTW as well. When I find something I like, I buy it in every color. I am thinking this might be one of my weird OCD traits – or am I just being practical?

How many times do you make a favorite pattern? Does anyone ever notice?

18 Comments

Filed under misc., Patterns

Kwik-Sew 3616: Finished

So, the bad match at the center front of this top was really, really bugging me. Argh. I had these vintage glass buttons in my stash that I thought might detract from my mistake – what do you think?

centerfront

The mismatch is really noticeable in this picture. I don’t know how this happened, I thought I was really careful and precise. Yuck!

buttons

Otherwise, I’m really happy with the way this turned out.

front

I LOOOOOVE the back!

back

Here is a closeup of the sleeve band:

sleeve1

And a peek inside.

sleeve2

24 Comments

Filed under Fabric, Kwik-Sew

Kwik-Sew 3616, part II

I made good progress on the top today – it’s just wonderful to have a rare weekday afternoon to myself! It’s all sewn together, all I have left are the bodice hem and the contrast sleeve bands. Sorry, the photo is a bit wonky, I was in a rush. I had to laugh because the bust area looks deflated – Ethel is a bit smaller through the bust and rib-cage. I need to put one of my bras back on her.

3616boho

Instead of the facing, I decided to take advantage of the panel borders and bind the neckline instead. I sewed that center front area at least 4 times trying to match everything up. I finally decided it was good enough.

3616bohobinding

12 Comments

Filed under Fabric, Kwik-Sew

Kwik-Sew 3616

As promised, here’s a quick review of the alterations I made to this pattern. After cutting out a test upper bodice, I determined that I’d need about 3/4″ in additional length over the bust in order for the seam to ride under my bra. Heaven forbid, as Heidi Klum says, that the boobs aren’t in the right place! Since the upper bodice is very loose fitting (and has gathers under the bust and at the shoulder) I didn’t require any additional width. I simply marked the additional length on the pattern and used my French curve to draw a smooth line.

fba

Neckline gaposis is often a problem on fuller-busted figures and is really easy to fix. I discussed this alteration HERE a few years ago (hit your browser back button to return here). The objective is to shorten the facing and ease the extra fabric of the neckline to it. I did a down-and-dirty job of it here. Unlike my previous tutorial, the outer edge of this facing is not sewn to anything else so I just tapered to nothing at the cut edge.

facing1

This does change the shape of the facing from a straight on-grain piece to a curved piece as you can see upon comparing the altered piece with the original.

facing2

What about the grainline, you ask? I changed the grainline to the center front. Cutting a straight facing on-grain serves to stabilize the neck edge. Once the facing becomes curved that is no longer possible. The facings are interfaced and the neck edges eased to it so stretching really isn’t an issue, in my opinion. If you wanted to use straight tape I guess you could but I don’t think it’s necessary and would just add bulk.

facing3

Some of you may remember this fabric that Ann sent me last summer. It’s the Boho Chic Jersey in a different colorway.

boho

If you’re new here, this was the must-have fabric of 2008! I used it for this dress (the Hot Patterns Cosmopolitan Dress):

bohochicdress

I thought it would be perfect for Kwik-Sew 3616 and you know how much I love to play around with patterns! I think the most important thing to do when working with a panel print is to plan carefully and never, ever overcut – you don’t want to cut into an adjacent panel or border that you might need later. This means your yardage will resemble Swiss cheese when you are done. :-) As I cut out the sections I lay them on the floor so that I can get a better idea how it’s all going to fit together. I actually cut the lower bodice so that the border would wind up in the hem – I wanted as little white directly on my stomach as possible.

3616front

I decided to seam the center back since it was too wide to fit into one panel. I would have liked a smoother transition over the shoulder but there just wasn’t any way to work that out due to the size of the pattern pieces.

3616back

Once I’m finished sewing this version I think I’ll transfer the paper pattern to manila so that I have a nice, sturdy permanent pattern. This one’s a keeper.

7 Comments

Filed under Alterations, Fabric, Hot Patterns, Kwik-Sew

I just needed a break…

This past Saturday morning I burst out of bed, made coffee and dashed to my sewing room, excited to begin my day. I’ve been “almost done” with my silk tunic for quite a few weeks now. Saturday was the day I was going to quickly stitch on the neckline binding and do my finish work before moving on to another project.

So, I cut my bias binding and ran it through the folder. Hmm, not so good – really uneven. Easy to fix, right? I’ll just spray it heavily with some starch and try again. Willing to fix? No!!!!

Okay, I’ll cut the binding extra wide, starch it, stretch it and then recut it evenly. Makes sense, right? Tell that to the uncooperative crinkled silk! No problem, I thought, I’ll heavily starch the fabric and recut the strips. Does this work to my satisfaction? No!

By this time, I am having words with the silk, calling it some very, very bad names. So, I decided that, despite my desire to toss the whole project into the wastebasket, I would instead put it aside and work on something that is guaranteed to be fun, easy and fast.

And here it is, Kwik-Sew 3616! I’ve had this pattern in my stash since it first came out sometime last year (I think). I love kimono sleeves and the slim fit through the torso. It is definitely a winner!

ks3616

3616envelope

I made the XS with a couple of adjustments: A full-bust adjustment and a neckline gaposis correction. They were super-easy and I’ll show you how to do that tomorrow. Can’t you just see this lengthened into a dress??? It would be so cute!

13 Comments

Filed under Kwik-Sew

Vintage Puzzle Box

So, it’s only 6:45 p.m. and I am in my sewing room. I’ve got my jammies on and am sipping a nice glass of wine. This is the kind of Happy Hour I like!

I don’t have anything far enough along to share with you but I’ve been meaning to post some of my cool vintage finds here for awhile so here you go!

puzzle1

This is a Puzzle Box from the turn of the last century. I have several of these, including one that dates back to the 19th century. This one is in the best condition and the only one currently complete. It took me awhile to collect all of the attachments. The last piece – the twisted-wired screwdriver (doh! I just noticed it’s not even in the photo!) – came all the way from England via Ebay!

puzzle2

puzzle3

If you are lucky enough to find one of these boxes you will be amazed at how well these 100-year old attachments shine up with a silver cloth (as long as there is no rust, that is). They look as good today as they did the day they were made.

Interestingly, each box was made by hand so no two are exactly alike nor is the placement of the attachment holders exactly the same in each. There are several different versions – I don’t remember off the top of my head which one this is.

These attachments are low-shank (or vertical in Singer-speak) so I could use them on my Featherweight if I wanted to. Honestly, I’m just happy to admire them and marvel at the pride of workmanship that went into making them.

It’s so adorable all folded up!

puzzle4

13 Comments

Filed under Sewing Machines, vintage

Quilt top is done!

I was really hoping to finish up my silk tunic today but I am so exhausted. Even after a two hour nap I didn’t have much energy so I just finished sewing the quilt blocks together. I am planning on sewing again tomorrow but if I’m still feeling lousy I may just hang around the pool and try to get some rest – and not be too disappointed that I haven’t accomplished much.

circleplay

I used my Consew 105 to finish the top and am so glad I got it! I have so much more room to work – the handwheel feels like it’s so far away! Now I’m anxious to try it out for freemotion work.

13 Comments

Filed under Quilting