Archives: June 2020
Hello everyone, this is Tanja from Ditaso_fashion_by_Tanja.
Fabric to me is like art, there are so many opportunities to be creative. I don’t know about you, but when I find fabric I love, to me that is pure happiness. It is an incredible feeling to be able to make a garment out of it, wear it, show it off to the world. It is a powerful talent to have.
This month I decided to pick Cotton Fabric as with cotton there are so many options to choose from. Possibilities to make something out of cotton are just endless. My first choice was this Digital Print 100% Cotton Fabric in turquoise, as soon as I have seen it, I immediately could vision Cheongsam Dress. When I am using good quality fabric, there is a lot of planning involved to ensure everything goes smoothly as it possibly can. As I was waiting for fabric to arrive, first step was to see what else would I need to be able to bring my vision to life. I grabbed my sewing planner and started planning.
The only other decision left was which pattern to use for my Cheongsam dress, Simplicity 8244 or Gertie’s Butterick 6483. To be able to make that decision, I needed to have fabric in my hands.
Happy mail day arrived as fabric was delivered. Does anyone else dance around house with fabric in their hands with “Girls just want to have fun” blasting in the background. For the sake of my own sanity, I will assume, yes. Of course, I took many, many pictures as soon as I opened my package. How could I not as this fabric was even more gorgeous than on pictures.
As with every fabric, I never want to skip important part and that is to wash and dry it first before I cut it as it could shrink. I skipped this part in my younger sewing days and once I washed my garment, it shrank so bad that it could fit a toddler. I wanted to cry. So, no more. I love my fabric too much to do this again.
Once fabric was washed, dried and pressed, I noticed it did shrink, but not too much, about an inch and that is normal for cotton. I still had enough to bring my vision to life. Now, I was ready to decide which pattern to use.
I ended up with Gertie’s B6483 as her front pattern piece had much better layout, than simplicity’s 8244. But, one thing that B6483 was missing, it was circle skirt. I wanted circle skirt, not gathered. So instead of using one pattern to make this dress, I combined two.
Top part of Cheongsam dress would be B6483 and for full circle skirt, I ended up using another Gertie’s pattern S8873.
Pattern asks for 2.5 yards, but as I was going for a circle skirt and I had to be very careful which way I position pattern pieces as I cut fabric due to print. So, 3 yards was the perfect amount. This cotton fabric is very easy to sew, color and the print is just stunning.
Fabric: Digital Print 100 % Cotton Fabric Turquoise
Fabric stretch: None
Yardage: 3 metres
Fabric easy to sew: Very easy
Pattern: Butterick 6483, Simplicity 8873
Size suggested: 16-18
Size cut: 14
Did it fit: Yes
Instructions easy to follow: Yes
Thanks for reading,
Posted in Projects on Sunday the 28th June 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
This 100% Linen Fabric from Lady McElroy reminds me of a dress I have and love.
Three summers ago I bought this pink check shirt dress by Eliza J at Nordstrom and wear it a lot. I was so pleased with the texture of the linen fabric when it arrived. I wanted to sew a dress and contemplated making Vogue 1233 which has an A-line skirt, button front, and collar but decided it would be too similar to my purchased dress. I decided to make Closet Case Patterns Kalle Shirtdress which is a loose, body-skimming style with short dolman sleeves with cuffs and a curved shirt tail hem.
I decided to cut the pocket, placket, yoke, cuffs, collar and collar stand on the bias for interest. I kept the inner yoke, inner collar stand and under collar on the straight grain for stability. I drew new/bias grainlines on my pattern pieces in red pencil. I thought to trace/draft complete pattern pieces for the yoke, collar stand and collar (these pieces are cut on the fold) for ease of placement and cutting but I got lazy. I laid my pattern piece on the fabric for the bias grain, cut the first half of the pattern piece then placed pins to mark the location of the “fold” point of the pattern piece. You can see the pins I placed at the center of the yoke piece above.
I then flipped the pattern piece around the pins, check the grain/bias line and cut the second half of the pattern piece.
Closet Case Patterns’ website has detailed tutorials for sewing Kalle Shirt and Shirtdress. I checked these tutorials for applying the collar/collar stand unit to the neckline and sewing on the cuffs as these are a bit tricky with the V shape slope.
However where I didn’t pay close attention was which side of the placket piece to apply interfacing to. I mistakenly applied interfacing to the wrong side of the placket piece and after sewing it together to the shirt, the extension which is meant to be folded into a point had a cutout. Whoops. I cut off that portion and was still able to fold a point at the end of the placket. Here’s my warning: pay careful attention to which side is the right and wrong side for the placket! In the case of this linen check it’s really easy to mix up the right and wrong sides since they are identical.
I am so happy with my finished Kalle Shirtdress! I love the bias details and the fabric is soft againts my skin. The linen was a pleasure to sew with! The shirtdress’s hem is finished with a narrow bias facing strip and the fabric behaved well and was easy to work with.
Detail pictures of the cuffs, collar and back yoke.
And a couple more pictures of the back and front of the dress. (Sadly, I don’t know if you can see clearly but I got a ton of mosquito bites on my ankles, shins and calves while on vacation. It’s been 12 days and the bites still haven’t gone away.) This project was an enjoyable sew!
Thanks for reading,
Ohhhh brocade. How I love you so. I don’t know about the rest of you, but it may be the glistening shine of brocade fabrics that has me always coming back for more (like a moth to a flame…)! Or maybe because of how opulent and expensive they always seem to look (and sometimes are). Either way, I have done it again. I made yet another brocade jacket using a new (to me) pattern by Style Sew Me, the “Nikki Blazer” in this wonderful Textured Brocade Fabric from Minerva. What initially drew me to this fabric was the diamond pattern, along with the gunmetal color with just the right amount of luster…again with that shine…
If you’re looking for a little throw-it-on-with-anything kind of blazer, this Nikki Blazer pattern is definitely it. At the time of writing this post, I have made it three times! There were basically no fitting adjustments necessary—a seriously great fit-- and the only pattern adjustments I made was including a lining, which is a really easy addition for almost any jacket pattern.
As someone who has made her fair share of brocade jackets and blazers, I thought I’d share a bit of insight on working with brocade:
1--Not all brocades are created equal.
There are some brocade fabrics that are truly wonderful to work with (this one) and there are some that will fray so much, you’ll find yourself asking why you didn’t buy at least a half yard more.
2—Staystitching is your best friend.
If you do end up with a fraying mess and no turning back, staystitching your edges will help tremendously. Even if your brocade is a great weight with very little fraying, staystitching is always a good idea—especially on those edges prone to stretching, like necklines or armholes.
The lighter the weight and therefore drapier the hand, the harder it’s going to be to work with because it will not hold its shape as well. Look for a brocade fabric that has a little more girth to it. ESPECIALLY if constructing it into a jacket.
Because of the nature of brocade, a lining is always a better option than trying to serge or finish the seams of your garment. Not only will it look a lot more expensive and professional with a lining, it will also hold the shape better, make your garment last longer, and will keep it from feeling really scratchy against your skin and let’s be real, that is certainly not an appealing trait for any piece of clothing.
5--Wear it anywhere!
Just because it may look fancy schmancy, does not mean you are restricted to wearing your brocade solely for special occasions. Of course it’d be amazing for a night out or that holiday party, but we should all add a little shine to our daily getup! Life is short, wear the brocade.
Til next time,
Callie @ Callie Makes
Posted in Projects on Thursday the 25th June 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
Hello everybody, Camelia here from @calcedoniasewing .I am so happy to be back and share with you my new project with a Minerva fabric.
This time is this gorgeous metallic brocade fabric, and it is truly gorgeous. The moment I saw it I kind of knew what I wanted to make with it.
The idea was to make something for the winter holidays and for this fabric my perfect match was the Kristen dress from Designer Stitch. I made this dress two times before and I knew that the skirt will be perfect to show off this fabric.
The pattern is a front princes seam bodice with waist darts in the back, also shoulder darts to give that perfect fit. The skirt has 4 inverted pleats that are giving it, specially made in a crisp fabric, a great volume. Also, the pattern offers a cute detail in the form of a ruffle attached around the armholes, neckline and the center front of the bodice. I skipped the ruffle as my fabric was way to thick for that.
The fabric is just gorgeous! It is a medium weight brocade, the back of the fabric has a lot of metallic sparkly thread, I could imagine me wearing a gold Kristen dress, that would have been fun!
I washed the fabric in the washing machine, using the "handwash" program and let it dry.
Sewing and pressing were very easy, no special treatment or anything, I love when the fabric behaves.
In the picture below you can see I did a bit of pattern matching. I cut the bodice pieces single layer to be sure that I will not get any unfortunate placing of those big flowers.
Because all that metallic thread I knew that an unlined dress will be very itchy to wear, so the decision was easy, I had to line the dress.
For the lining, I used a cotton/rayon mix which also has a bit of bounciness, and that made the skirt even fuller looking.
For the lining, I used the full pattern pieces and added the facing on the top of the lining pieces. It is the first time for me lining a garment like that, with the facings sewn on top of the lining pieces but this method is used in all Designer Stitch patterns. I like it a lot, I like that you get a very flat lining without the risk of seeing the seam that joins the facing with the rest of the ling from the outside.
I made this dress in the past and I know I changed some things but I knew that I had to start again as I changed a bit in size, so I made my usual ( these days) size from Designer Stitch, 3B and my toile fitted great. The only change was to make a 2 cm swayback adjustment on the bodice. Having the cup sizes in the patterns is great!
I thought a lot about how to sew the hem of this dress. I decided to sew it by machine, but it looked awful, I ripped the stitches and sew it again, by machine, and again I was unhappy so at the end I saw it by hand, as I was expected, that is the best way!
I love the dress! I think this fabric is perfect in combination with the pleats, giving such a full and bouncy skirt.
I guess now I am all set for the end of the year. I have my Camelia dress in that gorgeous Metallic black velvet and this one too.
If you want to have your own Kristen dress here is your chance. Ann Grose, the power behind Designer Stitch Patterns was so generous to offer two patterns to give away! There are four chances to take part so don`t miss it! Minerva has the most gorgeous fabrics to make your dream Kristen dress!
I will pick two winners on Sunday 3/11/2019 on Instagram.
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 24th June 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
Introductions over and on with the review...
I picked out this mid weight 100% Cotton Fabric hoping it would make a cute top for my upcoming summer vacation and I wasn’t disappointed. The fabric features lots of toucans on a tropical background. The print is large enough that you can definitely make out the birds but not so large that you have to be concerned about ‘unfortunate’ placement when cutting out your garment. It’s a sunny, bright fabric and the print is just the right side of kitsch for me.
I paired the fabric with one of Helen’s Closet latest releases, the Ashton Top. The Ashton is a simple A-line top, available in two lengths; either cropped or hip length. I went with the hip length version (view A).
My measurements put me between a 12 and 14 but based on the finished garment measurements I made a straight size 12 with no adjustments. The size turned out perfect although next time I may experiment with moving the bust dart down just a touch for an even more flattering fit.
The combination of the pattern and the fabric makes a perfect beginners project or a very satisfying quick sew for a more experienced sewist.
The pattern is simple and rewarding but teaches key skills in the form of bust darts and either a clever all-in-one facing or bias tape finishing. I chose to finish the neck and armholes with the all-in-one facing. I’ve used the burrito method on other projects but I still love the magic of turning the top the right way out and the neatness of the resulting finish. If you’ve never tried the burrito method this is a great project to give it a go as Helen’s instructions are very clear and easy to follow.
In addition to the all-in-one facing for the neck and armholes there is a hem facing. I normally hate the hemming part of any project, always dealing with ripples or wonky finishes but the hem facing really took the pain out of it. It feels like more work but in fact just a few more moments at the cutting out stage really saved me time later on. Plus the facing helps to create the structural look of the top when used with a fabric with more body like this cotton.
The fabric was easy to work with, extremely stable and pressed well. The fabric really compliments the A-line shape of the top. I love that this simple pattern can really show off a print and changing up the fabric type, perhaps with something with more drape, will give you a totally different look. You could have several Ashton’s in your closet and not worry about any of them looking similar.
This print is so fun for summer. I’ve saved the scraps and I’m using it as the pocket lining for a pair of shorts which I’ll be able to wear with this top.
That’s it for now. I hope you like my make - hopefully I’ll have more to show you soon!