Showing posts with label kwik sew. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kwik sew. Show all posts

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Choosing Prints Dilemma . How Do You Decide ?




Some people have a real skill at choosing prints and making them into something incredible. I dont`t have that knack of seeing the bigger picture so I almost didn`t buy this fabric . But now it is sewn up I really like it . I often favour smaller prints in more muted colours but this can translate into a bland , faded even frumpy   look from a distance even if the print itself is beautiful .
The fabric is a rayon type with birds in solids and outlines on a black background. I`m not sure if they are swallows or swifts.
I really wanted to make the Rebecca Taylor Vogue Pattern 1395 but it wasn`t available but my brain slowly ticked over and I realised I could get the look combining a couple of patterns I already owned.


Image result for kwik sew 3620
I combined a Butterick See and Sew  dress pattern 5975  with the front ties from  Kwik Sew 3620 . Not exactly the same but  similar look to the Rebecca Taylor Vogue 1395 as below. I got a bit over confident and didn`t follow the pattern instructions for the dress as I was trying to do the burrito method for the yoke construction . I realised too late it would not work for the dress so I had to fudge things and add bias binding strips for the arm holes and then applied them the wrong way so they show on the outer side . I applied them neatly so it looks OK and since I sewed the dress a couple of weeks ago my mistakes already do not bother me. Apart from my own self induced errors  the construction was straight forward but I am not quite sure that the pattern is as simple as See and Sew implies.
Image result for rebecca taylor vogue 1395
I have included this photo as proof of the ties existence and a closer shot of the print ( BTW I just learnt today that vogel is the German word for birds - just trying to reinforce my learning ! ) The dress is very comfy with an elastic waist but the ties conceal this at the front so I won`t need to add a belt . The top is a blouson style and the skirt is gently gathered. I was worried that the dress would be huge going by the finished measurements so I cut a size 10 instead of my usual 12 .
This dress has got me rethinking my print choices and also that I should probably have a bit of a dress clean out.The dress started as a UFO from several months ago and now it is finished my sewing corner is all sorted. I can hardly believe it but my dress form is clear , my dresser top is empty and my little sewing basket has only one project in it which is a WIP purse which is being slowly made at a sporadic sewing group I attend so no hurries there. I am now considering finally making a patchwork table runner for the coffee table and perhaps even an entire patchwork quilt with garments in between. 
Does anyone have any hints on how they successfully chose prints ? 
Happy Sewing and here`s to completed UFOs and fresh starts. 

Friday, 5 May 2017

Sewing SOS - Kwik Sew 2943 to the Rescue.



Usually I am OK at matching patterns to fabrics and vice versa but lately my brain has been in a funk and nothing was working . I washed up several fabrics . I traced out a couple of Burda Style patterns complete with lots of hassles which I don`t usually encounter . But I could not get the fabrics and patterns to work - not enough fabric , not wide enough fabric or way too much fabric with useless sized leftovers . I couldn't  face tracing out another pattern so I turned to my trusty Kwik Sew Patterns . I had a couple of small   remnants from  projects from a few months ago  littering my dresser with the idea to make some tanks trialling a new to me pattern . Well higher up forces were obviously telling me now was the time to make  them.                                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                         
This is a really old Kwik Sew of the white pattern paper variety . Like my other Kwik Sews it proved to be reliable but not totally without more hassles . This was all down to the fabric choices though.
I used the leftovers of the burnout velvet that I made a kimono with - the fabric is so pretty I could not waste it . What I did not think about was the  nap of the velvet  so the tank fabric is cut different to the kimono - my astute sewing friend noticed this when we went out for tea ( Hello Kelly ) . Also I used the leftover silk from the kimono bands to make my own bias binding instead of using the facings supplied with the pattern. My bias bindings were wibbly wobbly and at one point I did not sew them properly onto the fabric so I had to cut them off and start again ( no way I was unpicking this fabric which frays easily where the burnout part is ) .But overall the tank top  was a success and has made up a nice `twin set ` .


The other fabric was some crinkly georgette I made using another Kwik Sew pattern for an interesting tunic. This time I did use the facing patterns but boy were they out with this shifty fabric . So I used bought bias binding which is really a bit too stiff for the georgette but since I intend to mainly wear this camisole under the see through tunic it doesn`t matter and I know when to quit and not worry about perfectionism . The bust darts  are  a little low with this pattern . I tried to correct this with the georgette but they are still too low perhaps because of the shifty fabric factor ?? Anyway overall this pattern turned out a winner , great at using up small scraps and for ( mainly ) restoring my sewing confidence.


Since sewing the tanks   I have managed to match up the couple of burda patterns I traced with different fabrics and the paired the fabrics I washed with other patterns so I think I just had to step away for a little bit to sort it all out . Here`s to tanks of the peaceful kind .
                                                           

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Overthinking Sewing.



Sewing is my main form of relaxation and my only form of creativity ( unless you include 100+ different ways to use zucchini in Summer and pumpkin in Winter ) . Now thinking is of course very important but overthinking or rumination  is a whole different matter . I bought this small remnant piece of knit from the Clegs Remnant Xmas sale a few years ago thinking I could combine with another piece in my stash for a top  but the colours were way out . Then I tried to combine it with some other fabrics to make a pullover but the pattern was a wadder . Earlier this year after making my Burda pullover I thought I had the answer but there was not enough material . Garrghh! Enough ! There is only 70cm of this knit which is a light weight jumper ( sweater ) knit so I pulled out my trusty TNT Kwik Sew 2965 and just sewed it up before I overthought  any more .


And in another case of overthinking sewing I present my new skirt .


This red polka dot fabric is deep deep stash being left over from making a pinafore dress for my then 10 year old daughter ( 20 and a 2nd year medical student now ! ) . It must have been already quite old by the time I acquired it because it was only 90cms wide . It is a really good quality cotton with a smooth tight weave but it just positively screams Minnie Mouse so it has sat in stash all those years . I have thought and thought what to do with it from getting rid of it , to making a Minnie Mouse costume and to making something as unMinnie Mouse as possible. In the end I have made a `wearable` muslin of a knipmode skirt from May 2013.                                                                                                                                                              
   

A plain straight skirt with the front divided with a centre piece and narrower sides . I made the shorter version with cargo pockets .

One thing I don`t overthink with my blog are the pictures .I brush my hair , put on lippy and then convince someone to take pictures . The whole photo bit takes a few minutes . This time though took longer and I used several props to get photos .

Above my camera is resting on a bookshelf and magazines.
Camera propped on the back of a car with a turtle emerging from the ground .
Camera propped on the back of another car with an attractive compost bin in the background.
Up a ladder with the camera on a nappy bucket on the washing machine .
The best photos were the camera resting on the upside down old nappy bucket on the dining room table - must remember that one for future.
I have promised myself that I will wear this skirt for the remaining warm weather and if I still feel like a middle aged Minnie then the skirt will go.
Sometimes I feel a little bit crazy with how much time I think about these things but somehow if you are reading this blog then I know I am not alone .


Sunday, 29 January 2017

Boho Tunic - Kwik Sew 3670


Late last year I fell in love with some navy chiffon printed with peacocks and attempted to sew a Kwik Sew tunic I have made once before. It was an utter dismal failure and I was ready to chuck in the towel . I have faced a few life challenges behind my smiley face photos and darn it if I am going to let a mere fabric and sewing pattern defeat me . In a previous blogpost I wrote about my win over the fabric.


So that was the chiffon fabric under control but I was unhappy that I had failed at making up the pattern which I successfully made before and loved ! Kwik Sew 3670.


So back to the stash cupboard . Mum gave me this boho print crinkled georgette ( there must have been about 5 metres ! ) and learning from my chiffon nightmare I gelatinised the georgette until it was almost crisp . I then very carefully pinned  the sides of the fabric together to match the wide patterned stripes . The pattern pieces were placed , pinned and cut like I performing some delicate surgery . I really was determined to  make this work. Well all that preparation was the hardest part because with the treated fabric it was relatively easy to sew up the tunic. This really is an interesting pattern with a rectangular extension of the front pattern piece gathered and then folded over the front yoke / sleeve part.


The only thing I am not quite happy with is the somewhat wobbly hem but if I try to level this out the black patterned stripe  at the bottom will look off so I would rather the wobbly hem. Obviously I did not quite have the fabric straight  when I was cutting it but I did manage to match the stripey pattern at the side really well but forgot to take a photo so you will just have to take my word for it.
Overall I  love the tunic - the patterns and colours and  the fact that I conquered the pattern as well . No more frustration at being bettered by fabric and pattern. I think this version will be as successful as my last one which came to  nasty end after a run in with a velcro vest .
Well January is obviously an energising sewing month for me because I have also completed a dress .
So until next time Happy Sewing everyone. Janine.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Kwik Sew 3658 - A Miracle In Pattern Drafting .





My sewing output is much greater than my sewing blogging as I made this top early this month .
I was so impressed by this pattern I wanted to include a few pictures showing how it was made .




This is the two front pieces placed right sides together and stitched at the top and along the middle .


The fronts are ` opened up ` .


This creates a self front facing which is basted down .


The back is then stitched to the front . After this all that has to be done is sew the sleeves in the flat and then sew up the side seams and do the hems. So quick and easy and just amazing  ! Mind you I have no drafting skills so I might be easily impressed .


The close ups of the front and back neck line also show up my fabric well - a white waffly knit . It was only $1.00 from the op shop but it was covered with lots of little black dots which I did not realise until I had taken the fabric home. Luckily they washed out with a bit of that wonder pink napisan .
I am overall happy with the top but the neck line is a bit floppy and the shoulders too wide. Otherwise it really is a little miracle in pattern drafting.  I know Kwik Sew is not so popular or trendy so I do appreciate that they have reliable drafting and excellent instructions which is what really counts in the end.
Happy Sewing Janine.




Saturday, 17 October 2015

Kwik Sew 3121 - Snuggy Shawl Collared Polar Top

taken without a flash 

I just made a polar fleece jumper  in time for the monster El Nino weather effect that is going to affect eastern Australia !  When I started this the weather was still cool but then bam all of a sudden we had a mini heat wave . Mum gave me the polar fleece and said it could make a blanket . No way Jose ! I only have two fleecy type tops both of which are ancient .


I used ( a rather tatty ) Kwik Sew 3121 . I really like the shawl collared option .
I used Size M which is very roomy but I like these jumpers on the larger size so I can easily wear a shirt and woolly vest underneath . There is no shaping to the body although the envelope gives that impression.
The instructions for the shawl collar are excellent and there are separate pattern pieces for the under and top collar. Because the polar fleece is so thick I used some leftover black ponte for the undercollar .However my polar fleece is navy so  I  under stitched and top stitched the collar pieces to minimize any peekaboo black sticking out .

Luckily our mini heat wave was only mini and typically the temperatures plummeted and I was quick to wear my new top while I could  . My husband commented that the top is very soft and it is indeed very cozy to wear. I would highly recommend this pattern for a casual

photo taken with a flash . 
I have made some more weather appropriate clothing that I just need to photograph - always the slowest process in this house.

Happy Sewing .

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Essential LRS - New Look 6896.



LRS being The Little Red Skirt.
Earlier this year I sewed up a really old stash inhabitant , the pink and blue plaid , and I love the end result. This got me thinking about other similarly elderly pieces of fabric. I do not subscribe to the theory that she who dies with the most fabric wins . I think about the lost opportunities , unfulfilled sewing dreams and not to mention the plain waste of resources . So I feel a bit ashamed to admit that I have  more 20 + year old fabric  languishing in my cupboard.
 This red crepe was actually a two metre  remnant ! I originally bought 5 metres to make a 3/4 length dress with multiple gores - very much a look at me dress - so not me ! I ditched that plan and  sewed another dress up but it was what I now know to be a wadder . I did wear it but  my sewing was less than stellar so I  turfed it after just a few uses.


I was skimming through pattern review a few weeks ago and saw a really lovely looking skirt . I then googled more images of the same pattern made up and the cogs started slowly turning until bingo I realised this would be a great way to use my red crepe . However after accumulating sewing treasures for 30 years I  knew I would have a similar pattern in my collection.


I found New Look 6896 in my French pattern magazine which was very much what I wanted . I really like this magazine because although I do not know the french language all the patterns have clear construction diagrams which are helpful in trickier areas.
The skirt is a simple wide yoked semi-circle style with belt carriers and pockets . The zip is on the side which was the only real difficulty because I added pockets from another view to my skirt .
I used some tips I found in a Vogue magazine to hem the skirt - first sewing a long gathering stitch to gently bring in some of the fullness of the hem before hand sewing the hem in place . I then removed the gathering stitches , gave the hem a press and it looks pretty invisible to me ! I added some cotton tape to the top of the yoke to stabilise this area and I think this does help a lot .




I have so many tops that coordinate with this skirt that it is a wonder that I never thought before  this was an essential garment to have !


I have worn my new skirt with a new top as well using  a long narrow remnant that Mum gave me . I used Kwik Sew 2695 which has become a favourite pattern to use up small pieces of fabric . It is so quick and easy but I managed to make more than one mistake in sewing this up . And now I have just realised looking at these photos that I have achieved the dreaded bulls eye effect so I don`t know if I will keep it or not now.
As I was sewing up my red crepe I felt quite pleased to be using up all my really old fabric until I realised that no there are still a couple of pieces left that are 20+ years ! So I predict a denim tunic coming into my life in the near future but the other piece is only good for night wear so that will probably reach its silver anniversary.

Happy sewing , Janine.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

241

Just updating my personal sewing diary.
One of the things I really enjoy about having a blog is being able to document my sewing endeavours.  Most of my sewing has long disappeared and exists only in my mind. Not that it was spectacular or special just that I sewed it and and can see that I am getting better even if I still know just about zilch on fitting and totally nothing about drafting.
Another thing about having a blog is actually having a photo of myself wearing the clothes which sometimes even includes a back view. There are very few photos of me except on this blog. That doesn't  matter to me at all but it has been interesting to me to see what  clothes , colours  and styles might suit or not. Because that is another thing I am relatively clueless on -style etc.  And until this blog I didn't actually know what my back view looked like ( and perhaps that is information that was better that way ) .


Last month I finished sewing another burda style henley T.
This was a sewing project that I needed ,  not just wanted. A basic cream T .
The fabric is a fine ribbed knit bought on a lovely fabric buying day in November 2013 with the lovely girls from the monthly sewing group ( sadly this year it has been an annual sewing group for me ) . The month before had been a stashbusting sewing month - pure genius ! The fabric was from Rathdowne Remnants and the first piece I have made up from that day ! I thought it would be difficult fabric to handle because it is so fine  but it sewed up quite easily and I was delighted there was just enough to make  another kwik sew singlet as well - hence the two for one blog title .


Friday, 10 July 2015

Kwik Sew 3026 or How Not To Sew Plaid.

Pattern used - Kwik Sew 3026. I love this pattern having now made it 5 times. It is a great basic pattern for either a button up or placket shirt. It has separate pattern pieces for the under and outer collar pieces and a gently curved hem.
Fabric used - pink and blue textured plaid cotton. This has been in my stash for 20 years ! It feels  sturdy and soft  and I had trouble working out which were the wrong and right sides . Overall a great quality fabric which is hard to find these days.



 From memory I have  not sewn a plaid shirt before. I did make a plaid dress  20+ years ago and I am certain there were no thoughts about pattern placing going on then  This time there were plenty of thoughts but I still managed to muck up!

1. The front placket is not cut on the true bias - I thought it was but I must have been wearing my foggy glasses .
2. The front main plaid is cut slightly off centre .
3. I cut the pocket pieces on the bias and the pocket flaps on the straight grain. I carefully matched  the pocket flaps to the shirt front and then sewed them on the wrong sides so the pockets are lower and closer to the placket than intended. Annoying but the end result is fine .
4. The back of the collar plaid pattern is meant to align with the main back piece. Mine doesn't because I didn`t know .


No back view of the shirt because. 

Much loved and much used Kwik Sew 3026. 

However I did manage to cut the cuffs and yokes on the true bias and matched my side seams really well. I used larger buttons than originally intended on the placket to cover up my mistake :).

The Verdict - I love my new shirt !