Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Liberty KwikSew 3880

Very excitingly I bought my very first Liberty of London fabric last jersey of course! I nabbed this little beauty in The Fabric Store's 30% off VIP sale last week.  I also bought a second piece but it's not on their website anymore.

The fabric is quite narrow (140cm wide) so I bought 160cms with a view to making my 2nd KwikSew 3880 - this was pretty much just enough as you need to allow for the fabric shrinking a bit in the wash. I also had to cut the neckband twice as the first one was WAY too short.

Can I just say right up front that this fabric was a total freaking pain to work with - which surprised me as people gush about Liberty (guess they're not sewing with the pesky jersey)! The edges curled so badly and would not stay flat no matter how much hot hot steam ironing I took to it.

Anyway...I stuck with it and ended a with a brilliant top that I LOVE. The fabric is fairly cool to wear and actually ironed up OK after a spin in the wash - phew! I love the big, floaty sleeves as they are so breezy to wear and I really like how its snug at the waist to balance out all that sleeviness.

I finished the sleeve hems before sewing up the side seams...lazy, but easier! The sleeves and neckband and stitched down with a longer straight stitch but the hem is with a zigzag as I think straight stitches would've been pushing it for this make.

This time I raised the front and back necklines to a size M (last time I cut them at the size XL). I also kept the length at the XL as I wanted this one to be a bit longer. The fabric is MUCH less stretchy than my last version so I probably shouldn't have sewn such a big seam at the lower hip region...but the fabric is somewhat stretchy, so that's good. I didn't have a skirt to wear with this so picked up this black number at Target - but want to find a pattern to make my own elastic-waisted jersey skirt ASAP (this one is a little bit but I was desperate)!

Neckline...what a DRAMA! The first one was too short - despite cutting it 4" longer than the pattern piece. I cute a new one adding an extra 6"!!! and it went on OK - though it was so curly it took me forEVER to pin it and sew it top stitching it down with a long straight stitch. I was convinced I would've stretched the neckline out whilst sewing - but nope, it's perfect.


PatternKwikSew 3880
Size: Size XL, Size M for height at neckline
Modifications: I doubled the width of their skinny skinny neckband and added 6" to the length of it as this fabric doesn't have a lot of stretch. 
Fabric: 100% Liberty cotton knit from The Fabric Store
Changes for next time: none

Saturday, 12 November 2016

KwikSew 3880 - me likie!

My first time sewing with a non-Indie pattern since I started sewing about three years ago (year 10 sewing class not included) and it all went really well! I first became aware of KwikSew 3880 after seeing it on Blogless Anna's blog and really liked the shape - fitted at the waist but blousy at the sleeves and bust...perfect for wearing with floaty skirts.  I'll definitely be making this again!

I went with my usual strategy and sewed the biggest size (an XL) but laid my Maria Denmark Kristen Kimono Tee pattern over it to see if the sizes were similar (they were). I didn't want the top to be overly long so sewed the M for the length. Next time I'm going to raise the neck though as it does feel a bit big and low cut.

The neckband topstitching, hem and sleeves are all sewn with a straight stitch (using a longer length for the neck and hem to avoid popped stitches). I'm really liking this technique - much more tidy looking than a zig zag.

I really like this top - the fabric is super cool and breezy (from Pitt Trading - need to get my hands on MORE) and this is a great top for wearing to work before the weather really heats up!

So, yay, for finding another "go to" pattern that's simple to sew and totally my style.


Pattern: KwikSew 3880
Size: Size XL, Size M for length
Modifications: I doubled the width of their skinny skinny neckband. I didn't read the instructions at all so perhaps it was meant to be a binding or something?
Fabric: Viscose knit from Pitt Trading
Changes for next time: raise the neckline

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Black Mandy Boat Tee

Not a very exciting make, or a new to me pattern - but I've (finally) made myself a Mandy Boat Tee in black jersey. Of course it probably would've been wiser to do this when the weather was cooler as it's a bit hot to wear this now. This fabric, from The Remnant Warehouse, also doesn't have a light breezy feel to it.

I've taken a different approach with stitching this top - using a straight stitch for the neckband (and hem) as I think it looks much neater than my wobbly zigzagging and I saw someone on Instagram doing this and she said she had no issues with popped stitches. I increased the stitch length a bit to ensure the neckline does have a bit of give and won't pop when I'm putting it on, but the hem is sewn at the regular length as no stretch is needed there. Arms are still sewn with a zigzag as the sleeves are tight and they do need the stretch a zigzag stitch gives.

...and the back...good bum coverage!

Like my other recent Mandy's the hems are sewn at 1.5" - 2" - I really like the look of this "deeper hem".


PatternMandy Boat Tee by Tessuti
Size: One size fits...most
Modifications: lengthened by 9cm (I think it's a bit long but I never seem to make it shorter as I'm lazy and also indecisive), the sleeves/arms made bigger for me a sewing class I did at Tessuti.
Fabric: Viscose knit from The Remnant Warehouse
Changes for next time: might lop off a few cms at the hem, but probably not.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Tessuti Isla Top

When I popped into Tessuti last week to indulge in some new jersey Colette showed me their soon to be released top pattern -- a lovely simple top with an interesting yoke detail at the back. She said it would be right up my alley - am I that transparent? Obviously as I bought the Isla Top within the first hour it was released, taped it together during a slow day at work on Thursday and sewed up my toile on my Friday off (yesterday). The sewing is pretty sloppy as I was just so desperate to know if it would fit me or not.

I sewed up the XXL and made no changes other than to lower the front neckline a bit as it felt too high for me and subsequently add 2" to the neckband (and about 5mm to the neckband width to make sewing it easier).

The top also felt a bit long at the XXL size so I sewed it with a 2" hem (same with the sleeves). Next time I'll make it a bit shorter and also shorten the sleeves - the 2" hem is a bit too chunky. For summer the sleeve length will be too hot for me, so I'm thinking above the elbow would be good (so I'll probably hack 8" off the pattern). In summer I'll wear the Isla with skirts but in winter it would be worn with pants so I'd probably stitch to the original length. I'm thinking I might also make it a little more snug at the hips...

worn with my newest Mabel Skirt - they look good together I think!
 Back view - I've pulled it up a bit so it sits properly on my hips, hence the bunching.

Here you can see the detail of the back yoke - I like that it adds a little bit of interest and looks different to all the other top patterns I have. The lower back piece is meant to be cut on the fold, but I wanted to preserve fabric (I use this stuff for toiles) and had plenty of room to fit the pattern piece on the fabric and allow for a CB seam. 

Other than my sloppy sewing I had no issues with sewing this up. Even the neckband went on first go no problems *gasp*. I'm keen to make another but am just going to think first about what I'm going to wear it with -- as that will determine the modifications I make to the pattern.


Pattern: Isla Top by Tessuti
Size: XXL
Modifications: dropped the front neckline by about 1.5cm and added 2" to the neckband. Sewed the hems at 2".
Fabric: Viscose/spandex knit from Remnant Warehouse
Changes for next time: Shorten sleeves by about 6" - 8" so it sits above elbow, bring hem up by about 2" and narrow at the hips a little.

When dresses become mediocre Mabels

I've made two Marianne Dresses lately -- neither of which were quite right due to the high neckline and funkiness going on with the sleeves. Rather than just pop the dresses into the charity bag like I usually do I thought I should try and rescue them and upcycle them in to Mabel Skirts.

Like the dress, this fabric looks great in photos; and the garments look great on the hanger. As soon as the fabric hits my body though - blergh! The colours look awful on me...and the skirt is WAY too small so it's not a keeper.

This dress would probably be wearable if the fabric wasn't pure sweatiness - ugh, get off my body. I did drop the neckline a bit, but the stiffness of the fabric made the sleeves look like I was in some 80s band...hello shoulders! As the skirt above was WAY too small I added 1.5cm to the centre fold of the back and front pieces -- 6cm overall. This fabric has hardly any stretch so it's still a bit snug...but wearable if I suck my gut in and think skinny. It's a keeper. For now.

And here's my attempt at rescuing a RTW dress that must've shrunk in the wash (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). It's not bad as a skirt, but the shape is not as pegged as I would like. It's comfy though and I'm still deciding if it will get worn.

So, some success and some fails - my typical sewing story. My overlocker and sewing machine really fought me on these makes...skipped stiches and the like. Sigh.

I'm glad I have these three projects out of the way though as they've been my roadblock to embarking on any new projects...