Friday, August 7, 2020

A woven Seamwork Clarke

Ever since I made my first two Seamwork Clarke tank tops, I've been wanting to try one with a woven fabric (you can see my first two here and here). The pattern can be made up in both knits and woven fabrics but to prevent the "tent" look, Seamwork suggests making the top with the woven fabrics cut on the bias.

I had a little over a yard left of a beautiful crinkle rayon after making my Rhapsody blouse a little while ago and decided to try the Clarke using that.

I'd forgotten how shifty this fabric was and I did run into problems when sewing this up. I used French seams throughout and on the front seam, I didn't trim the seam allowance enough so ended-up with some of the raw edge showing. This fabric does not like to be unpicked so my seam is really wobbly.

And then I ran into trouble with the joining of the facings and the main pieces at the shoulders. I somehow messed-up and the facing was on the outside on the back. Well, like I said, this fabric really did not enjoy the unpicking and it got so damaged, I basically had to cut the seam allowances and start over at the shoulders.

This meant the top is at least 1/2 inch shorter which isn't great because I was able to cut a longer length from the fabric I had left.

The bottom line is that I'm not super happy with my new Clarke but I haven't completely given up on trying to make this pattern with a woven fabric. I have a gorgeous cotton lawn that might be perfect for it...

The details:

Friday, July 31, 2020

Sunday Romper for my girl!

I purchased the Love Notions Sunday Romper pattern almost as soon as it came out. And I immediately showed it to my daughter who requested the tank dress in a mini. 

I pulled a navy bamboo knit from DG Patterns and got to work! The navy colour way is no longer available, but they have this gorgeous plum on sale at the moment.

This dress was a pretty easy sew - even the V neck and back were fairly straight-forward. I went slow and used my walking foot to make things a little easier on myself. 

The fabric was amazing to work with - it pressed well, my machine didn't want to eat it and it was stable enough to not want to stretch out all over the place.

I love how this falls on her - so pretty! I like this so much, I might have to make one for myself. I have 2 meters of the same bamboo knit, but in a burgundy. 

The details:

Friday, July 24, 2020

The Closet Case Pouf

I think I may have solved part of my scrap problem! 

I subscribe to Closet Case Patterns' newsletter and love their garment patterns (I made the Cielo top a couple of times as well as their Pietra pants). Well, if you're a newsletter subscriber, you get access to a fantastic free pattern for a pouf you stuff with your fabric scraps... how cool is that?!

I used quilting cotton to make the pouf, but the instructions recommend interfacing the fabric if you aren't using something really sturdy such as canvas or leather. I had a yard of the green Tamara Kate print in my stash which I absolutely love and thought it would make a really nice pouf so I used it for half the pieces I needed. The pink is an Alison Glass print and the yellow is a Kona solid.

The bottom is a green fabric I purchased from Connecting Threads a while ago. I had a pretty big piece leftover from a quilt back and I also had enough to make bias binding for the piping. So the piping goes nicely with the fabrics I used and is identical to the bottom.

The zipper is the only zipper I had on hand which was long enough - it's a super fun rainbow zipper I got a super long time ago. 

The zipper means the pouf is washable. This also means you have to finish the seams of your pouf either with a zig zag stitch or with a serger. It also means you need to make a lining or a pouch to hold all your scraps so that they can stay in the pouch when you need to wash the pouf. I didn't have any fabric pieces that would have been large enough to make a lining so I used a big garbage bag! 😆

I used ALL of my dressmaking scraps along with some batting and quilting cotton scraps that were just too small to cut anything out of. The pouf is full but not as full as it could be and now that I've had it around for a few days, I can see that it's going to basically collapse if I don't add stuffing to it. Which really isn't a problem - my sewing room is filled with scraps!

The details:
  • Pattern: Closet Case Patterns Pouf (I can't link to the pattern because you can get it for free if you sign-up for their newsletter)
  • Fabrics: All from my stash - see the links to them above.

Friday, July 17, 2020

The Jalie Bianca Top

This new top came very close to being a complete fail but I think I managed to rescue it.

This is the Jalie Bianca Top in an absolute dream of a textured Tencel viscose from Blackbird Fabrics. The colour isn't great on me, but I need this fabric in ALL the colours!!

Based on my measurements, I made a size BB with no adjustments or modifications. This was a really easy sew - a front, a back, a facing on the back neckline, and binding for the front neckline and armholes. Once I had all the pieces cut, it only took a couple of hours to sew up.

I tried it on and was really upset to see that the armholes were ridiculously low on me. I mean, you could basically see my entire bra band if I lifted my arm. I had no idea how to fix this but decided to take a bigger seam allowance under the arm tapering down to nothing past the waist. And it sort of worked.

The upper back however, is a little snug now which isn't great.

The next time I make this, I'm going to do a 1" full-bust adjustment and put in the sleeves to see if that fixes the armholes. And there will be a next one - I love the neckline on me and really like how easy this is to put together. I also want to try the dress version with the belt.

The details:

Friday, July 10, 2020

Jackson's Baby Quilt

There's a new baby in my extended family! My daughter-in-law's sister had a baby boy back in May and I had planned on making her a quilt, but with the whole COVID situation, there were very long delays in fabric deliveries so I didn't finish this little quilt until late June. I took these pictures as soon as it was finished, but I'm only getting around to blogging about it now!

I'm sorry about the weird shading - it was incredibly sunny and didn't notice these until much later!

I didn't use a pattern for this super simple quilt. I cut some squares from the print fabrics, cut some Kona Ash solid strips and then added a border. It went together really quickly and is the perfect way to showcase some cute fabrics such as this one.

I had no idea what the nursery colours were going to be so once I chose my main print, I searched through my stash for fabric that coordinated well: orange/rust, red and aqua. I got really lucky because the new mom's favourite colours are mint and aqua!

I wanted the quilt to stay soft and cuddly so went with random wavy horizontal lines. I used my trusty Aurifil #2600 (Dove) in 50 wt for the piecing and the quilting. I love that thread so much, I buy cones of it instead of spools. It really is the perfect neutral thread.

The backing is what held up me finishing this quilt. I didn't have anything appropriate in my stash so ordered a couple of different fabrics from Dinkydoo Fabrics (an online shop located in Canada). 

The binding is a Carolyn Friedlander print in a gorgeous mint green. I had a piece just large enough to cut the binding and I thought it finished off the quilt quite nicely.

The details:
  • Pattern: None
  • Size: 38" x 50"
  • Fabrics: A variety of different prints from my stash
  • Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil #2600 in 50 wt

Friday, July 3, 2020

Allegro Pants - Lessons Learned

I haven't really ventured much into pants sewing (I only tried one pair and although it was somewhat successful, the fit was far from perfect). Pants are hard to fit due to tummies, bums and thighs, but I really want to nail the fit on some comfy pants - I mean, I'll be working from home for the foreseeable future, might as well have some cute comfy pants!

The Allegro Bottoms pattern by Love Notions was completely re-drafted and was on sale a little while ago. It comes with two lengths for shorts and pants as well as two skirts - a short skirt and a maxi. I decided to purchase the pattern because if I can't get the pants to fit me properly, I'm pretty sure I can get the skirts to.

About a week ago, I used some cotton to make a muslin of the shorts. I figured if I can make the shorts fit, I could use the same adjustments on the pants. My first pair of shorts ended up a bit long in the rise and a bit snug in the back. But other than that, they fit ok at the waist and the thighs.

I had to google how to shorten the rise and add a little more room for the bum. Both adjustments turned out to be pretty easy and after making the changes to the pattern pieces, I went ahead and made a second pair of shorts, again with some quilting weight cotton I had in my stash.

I didn't put the pockets in my second version and the gathers aren't quite evenly spaced but I definitely had enough room in the back now which is good. The front also fit much better. After making that second muslin, I felt like I had gotten the fit near enough to try out the pants in a softer fabric. 

I used a Tencel twill I purchased a few months ago from DG Patterns

In the above pictures, the pants look pretty good and I do love them with my Love Notions Rhapsody Blouse (blogged here). However, I can't sit in them! I'm pretty sure I should have made the full pants as a muslin because the thighs are just way too tight when I sit down. It isn't comfortable and really isn't an attractive look! So I'm going to have to research how to make more room for the thighs (in the front only which is a little weird).

But I do love how the front and pockets turned out.

And I've also learned how to fix those wrinkles under my bum - turns out I need a flat bum adjustment (who knew I had a flat bum?!). I'm also thinking now that once I fix the flat bum, it might fix the issue on the front? I've learned that some of the fixes for problems you see on a garment aren't necessarily obvious. 

I might try to unpick the inner and outer seams to see if that gives me a little bit more room in the front because it's definitely too late to make the flat bum adjustment on these pants.

The details:

  • Pattern: Allegro Bottoms by Love Notions (I made the 5" and 9" shorts and the full-length pants)
  • Size: 18 (front rise shortened by 1/2", "scooped" out back rise) - Next time, I'll make a small flat bum adjustment to eliminate the "smiles" under my bum. 
  • Fabrics: Tencel twill from DG Patterns

Friday, June 26, 2020

Wake Me Up Quilt Finish

When I found the Wake Me Up Quilt by Emma Jean Janson, I was immediately drawn to it because of the amazing scrappiness possibilities! I'm still trying to get through my huge, huge scrap piles - does anyone ever get "through" their scrap piles? - so I'm always on the lookout for simple, fun scrap quilt patterns.

I was a little bit afraid using many different scraps would look like a hot mess, but I'm pretty pleased with the results.

I really like working with scraps - it's almost like a trip down memory lane during which I get to think about the remember all the quilts I made with the fabrics. For example, I have some scraps in here from a quilt I made with my son (the Harry Potter quilt) and some of the squares I got from a charm square swap organized by the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild.

When it was time to choose how to quilt this top, I knew I had to keep it pretty simple to sort of tame the craziness. So I went with some vertical wavy lines stitched with my walking foot. I used my favourite neutral thread for this: Aurifil #2600 (Dove) in 50 wt. It just basically disappears which was perfect for this quilt top.

The back is a sheet in a super soft grey cotton - it has some fun little dots in there which I love. And the binding is Kona Charcoal which matches the back almost perfectly.

The details:
  • Pattern: Wake Me Up by Emma Jean Janson
  • Size: 56" x 56"
  • Fabrics: Scraps, Kona White, Kona Charcoal
  • Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil #2600 (Dove) in 50 wt