Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Itch-to-Stitch Bellavista Top

I always find it a little bit difficult to figure out what to wear at this time of year because where I live, the temperature can change drastically from one day to the next or even during the same day! That is why I love cardigans so much. You can start the day with the cute top and a cardigan but around Noon, take off the cardigan and just wear the cute top. This time of year is also awesome for wearing lightweight sweaters with 3/4 length sleeves.

And that is why I decided to make the Itch-to-Stitch Bellavista top this past week.

The fabric I used is a super soft lightweight sweater knit from Fabricville in a fun animal print. It really is perfect for this time of year and this is going to work really well with my black leggings and my grey Moji pants.

The cowl neck was the feature that really sold me on this pattern... I love me a good cowl! But I prefer a cowl that's a little more open or wide. The sleeves were also something I thought would be fun and different, but I find they hit me at a really weird place so next time, I would shorten them a little bit.

I love the shape of this top - it has some very subtle shaping at the waist and then flares right out in a fun swingy hem. 

The details:
  • Pattern: Itch-to-Stitch Bellavista
  • Size: 18
  • Fabrics: Sweater Knit from Fabricville (sold out)

Although this sweater isn't perfect, this top definitely is going to see a lot of action this Spring and probably next Fall. It's super comfortable and I just love the fun print and colour.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Downstream Quilt Finish

This week's quilt finish is my new favourite! I've always been attracted to very graphic, modern and all-solid quilt designs and this one definitely fits all of the above characteristics.

The pattern is by Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl. I'm a huge fan of Yvonne's work and this design had been on my to make list for a little while. But for some reason, I thought this would be incredibly difficult and take a long time to sew. It really didn't! The design is so clever - it's really all about colour choices and colour placement. Although I'm not sure what happened, but I messed up and sewed a couple of the blocks incorrectly and I only noticed when the top was all sewn up so didn't bother with fixing it.

The fabrics are all Kona solids: Charcoal, Ash, White and Torch. I knew I wanted to quilt it with an all-over design but I really wanted the piecing and the graphic nature of the quilt to be the star of the show. How was I to accomplish that with such contrast between each colour?! I went with FMQ flowers all-over but used matching thread so had to stop and start multiple times.

I also wanted the quilting to show off the narrow strips in the design so I left those untouched so they "pouf" out a bit on the surface of the quilt.

The backing is a gorgeous print I purchased a while ago from the Fabric Snob

The binding is Kona Charcoal with a tiny strip of the Kona Torch just for fun.

The details:
  • Pattern: Downstream by Quilting Jetgirl
  • Size: Lap (56.5" x 72.5")
  • Fabrics: Kona Charcoal, Ash, White and Torch 
  • Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil 50 wt thread in white, dove and dark grey

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The Itch-to-Stitch Seychelles Top

When Itch-to-Stitch came out with their new Seychelles top pattern recently, I pressed the Buy button almost immediately. I loved the V neck, the fun pleats on the short sleeves and the narrow shoulders. I have found lately that most of the patterns I make are a little too wide for me and I keep forgetting to make a narrow shoulder adjustment. Well - Seychelles has a narrow shoulder built-in!

The pattern itself is really straight-forward to sew, even the pleats and the V neck. However, the fabric I chose to make my version of the Seychelles was hard to work with for me. Now keep in mind that I'm still a beginner at garment sewing. So shifty, fluid and very drapey fabrics are a bit of a challenge. This is a gorgeous viscose crepe from Blackbird Fabrics in the colour "Lagoon".

I never thought green was a colour that suits me. But do I love this green. It's a nice cool, blueish green and I like the way it looks on me.

The fit of this garment is good (not perfect). I find it's a little bit big in the upper bust area and a tiny bit too small in the hips area. I made a straight size 18 with a C cup and that is typically the size I go with for Itch-to-Stitch patterns. I know I can very easily grade up to a 20 at the hips, but I'm really not sure how I would tackle the fit issue at the high bust.

When I made this again, and yes, I'll definitely make this again, I'll shorten the top by about 1.5 inch so that it lands a little closer to my high hip. If I do that, I may not even need to grade up to a size 20 at the hips because the top is going to hit at a point that's a bit narrower.

I think I should also shorten the bust darts by about 1/2 inch.

I absolutely love the neckline on this top! It hits me at my very favourite spot - not too low and not too high. It's perfect for a cute necklace and brings the eye up toward my face and away from my middle which has grown significantly over the last year.

The details:

This pattern also has a view with long gathered sleeves which are absolutely stunning. I didn't have enough fabric to make that one, but I have a beautiful viscose in my stash that would be gorgeous as a long-sleeved Seychelles!

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The Metra Blazer

I very much consider myself a beginner when it comes to making garments and I honestly didn't think I could pull off making a semi-fitted blazer. But when Love Notions published the Metra Blazer and I started seeing all the reviews and tester versions, I thought to myself maybe I could make myself one.

Love Notions patterns are extremely well written, and there's always a lot of support both in the Facebook group and from their brand ambassadors and affiliates. An added bonus was that the blazer is made in a stable knit so a little more forgiving when it comes to fit. So I took the plunge and I'm so glad I did!

The scuba fabric I chose to use is pretty busy so the details are a little difficult to see (which isn't a bad thing given my skills!). I love the length, the shawl collar and the clever welt pockets.

The back has a centre seam with a bit of shaping. I didn't bother to try any print matching and I'm a little bit annoyed with the half flower in the centre of my back, but it's really not a huge deal.

By a really happy accident, I already had matching pants in my closet. The colour of the pants matches the centre of the flowers almost exactly. I think this will look pretty good with a white blouse this Spring.

I wouldn't say this was an easy make - it was definitely a little more involved than most of my projects. But it wasn't difficult either. And it was surprisingly quick to put together. I probably spent only about 4 hours sewing my new blazer (and that included removing the stitching from a sleeve I had sewn inside out).

The details:

I will definitely be making more! My new blazer is really comfortable and although I'll be working from home for the foreseeable future, I do like to feel put together and look good on video calls. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

An Express Post Cushion

Do you ever decide on your next project based on what you have taking up space in your sewing room? I spent a little bit of time cleaning up my sewing room recently because I got myself a new serger and wanted to make room for it. While trying to put stuff away, I found an 18" pillow form and I didn't know where to store it so instead, I decided to make myself a new pillow!

The pattern I chose for my pillow is one I very recently purchased. It is called Express Post and was designed by Andrea of 3rd Story Workshop. The pattern come in lap size, but Andrea also includes instructions to make an 18" mini quilt. Now that the pillow is done, I see that this pattern wasn't the best choice because the fullness of the pillow form makes it more difficult to get a good view of the individual blocks - definitely something to keep in mind if you're planning to use a mini quilt as a pillow.

I chose the fabrics based on what I had sitting at the top of my scrap bin. I'm not 100% sure I love the colours or fabrics together, but I don't hate them either.

I used two fat quarters for the envelope back.

As I've done many times already, I used Aurifil #2600 (Dove) in 50 wt to quilt wavy lines with the walking foot. 

The details:
  • Pattern: Express Post by 3rd Story Workshop
  • Size: 18" square
  • Fabrics: Kona Ash and scraps from my scrap bin 
  • Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil #2600 (dove)

Although I'm not in love with my new pillow, I'm happy to have used the pillow form as well as scraps that I've had hanging around my sewing room.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

A New Pair of Arden Pants

I've been wearing the Arden pants I made last Fall pretty much every week and I love them. So I had been planning to make a few more pairs for Spring and then Summer. I had a slightly lighter weight stretch suiting in my stash and decided to pull it out for my next pair of Arden.

I made the exact same size (18) but lengthened the legs by 1 inch so that I could wear my new pants with short heels. And that is when I learned that even when you make a garment from the same pattern and in the same size, the fabric has a huge impact in how the garment looks and fits.

This pair is definitely a little bit tighter at the hips and I can see folds and wrinkles where there were none in my other pair.  If my older pair had also gotten smaller, I could blame the COVID pounds I've put on over the last few months, but my first pair still fits me so I can only suppose the fabric is the difference.

The weather has started to get milder in Montreal this week and I've been going out for walks so I'm hoping to shed a few pounds, but I'm not sure losing 5 or 10 lbs is going to resolve the wrinkles on my pants.

I'm planning at least one more pair of Ardens in linen for the Summer and I'm now thinking I might need to go up to a size 20 in a non-stretch woven. I have a few old sheets that I've been holding on to for muslins - I'll use one of those to try it out.

The details:

Friday, March 19, 2021

A Table Runner for Marianne

My baby girl is moving out and getting her own apartment this coming May. I've promised her a quilt for her bed but until that's done, I decided to whip up a quick table runner. 

I was going to make placemats at first and I had decided on this free pattern by Alissa Haight Carleton. But when I confirmed the colours with Marianne, she said she would rather have a table runner. Instead of going to look for a different pattern, I decided to make the placemats and sew them all together into a table runner.

I used Kona Ash as the background and fat quarters from my stash in dark grey and teal. The back is a piece of fabric I had left over from another quilt back. It was a couple of inches too short and I didn't want to piece the back so shortened the top by a little bit so it fit. 

I then cut strips from the fat quarters to piece the binding and it all worked out perfectly.

The quilting is my favourite wavy lines with the walking foot. It is such a quick way to finish a small quilt like this - I love it!

The details:

Now that the table runner is all done, I really should start working on her bed quilt!