Sunday, October 12, 2014

Style Arc Sunny Knit Top - pattern review

I finally sewed a design using a Style Arc pattern!  This is the Sunny Knit top.  If  this top is any indication of what to expect from Style Arc's other designs I'm hooked.

I purchased the Sunny Knit top pattern a few months back, when I purchased the Ziggi Biker Jacket pattern (for the sew-along hosted by Stacy Sews and Sew Maris that I never did find time to join).  At the same time I added Style Arc's Maggie Shirt, Rosie Top and Dotty Blouse patterns to my collection.

I choose an ITY panel print knit purchased from Fabric Mart Fabrics. I had ordered this fabric with another pattern in mind but the print placement didn't work out.   But when I looked at the fabric I easily envisioned the bottom bodice seam line of the Sunny Top along the straight edge of the large medallion.   I placed the sleeve hem along the smaller straight edge of the smaller design.

It was easy to center the front and back bodice pieces along the center of the medallion.  I did eliminate the center back seam so the line of the medallion would not be broken. 

The pattern does not have detailed sewing instructions but what was provided was adequate to construct this top.  Every piece fit together beautifully.  I liked that there was an actual neck band, rather than the "turn under and stitch" which seems to be a common neck finish in many of the Big 4 knit top patterns.

The pattern is described as an oversized cocoon shape and I was a bit nervous as to what size I should order.
These are one size patterns and I choose to order a size 12, which is the size I typically begin with when using a pattern from the Big 4.
I think for this style the size was fine although when I look at myself from the side I can see that my full bust does pull the front up slightly.  The next time I sew this I will add some length to the front to accommodate that and also bring in the lower edge a bit.

The shape is pretty odd when you look at it with arms outstretched.  But fortunately I don't walk around in that position.

I really like the top. I think the ITY knit was the right weight and the panel print worked out well on this design.  I'm now on the hunt for a fabulous sweater knit for my next version of this Sunny top.
After I finished sewing my top I searched for other versions and came across this one  and an awesome panel print one - cute, right?

Who else has sewn the Sunny Top?

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Vogue 8898 - My Butterflies are Free Summer Dress

 I saw this knit tucked in amongst the bolts of clearance fabric at my local Hancock Fabrics store a few months back and purchased the remaining 2-1/2 yards.  At only $3 per yard I thought the butterfly print would work well for a trendy summer dress.

I wanted something simple and unfitted so I wouldn't need to wear "suck you in" undergarments when wearing the dress on hot, muggy summer days.  Vogue 8898 it was!  An easy pullover style with an asymmetrical detail I liked.

I did zero alterations to the pattern. Although because of my curves I did lower the placement of the belt opening on the front by 1-1/2". 

The "buttonhole" belt opening is on the front and back of the dress.  I finished the opening differently than the pattern instructions. I finished it with a small facing, turned it inside, top stitched it in place and trimmed the excess fabric inside the dress.

I added a band to the neckline rather then turning under and top stitching per the instructions. 

The stitches on the top stitching appear to be slightly crooked. But that's okay. It's because I stitch my knit garments with a very narrow zig-zag stitch when I'm not using my serger.  I know some sewers don't sew knits this way, but I've never quite gotten the hang of using a straight stitch on knits.  Here's the stitch setting I use on my machine (Pfaff 2056).

The dress is described as loose-fitting and it does indeed have quite a bit of ease in the design. I cut a small in the shoulder/neckline tapering to a medium for the rest of the dress.   I choose the longer length knowing I'd likely wear the dress to church.  I wasn't positive how the dress would work on my curves, but I'm pleased with how it turned out.

After I sewed the dress I was browsing Pinterest and came across this Pin labeled Talulah dress - which sure looks like Vogue 8898 to me, 

Parting shot - a quick photo with my two sewing buddies.

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Sunday, July 06, 2014

SR Harris Fabric Outlet - the fabric reveal

As I was snapping quick shots of my fabric purchases I realized I had purchased mostly knits.  It must be because we are currently in the midst of summer and I have quick and easy sewing on my mind.  This is what I picked up when I was at SR Harris recently.

Knit Fabric from SR Harris Fabric Warehouse  Sharon Sews Blog
From left:
  •  A black knit (very little stretch) with floral print found in the designer remnant section - $4/yard
  • A black/grey/yellow abstract print Lycra knit - $9/yard. This appears to be the same fabric used by Apple Annie to make her fabulous Sandra Betzina dress.  I bought what was left on the bolt which was just under two yards.
  • A red and white stripe (the white section is sheer) from the Worth collection - $7.50/yard
  • An abstract blue and white Lycra knit - $6/yard
From left:
  • A dusty rose Lycra knit labeled "dry-fit" - $6/yard. I plan on making workout pants.
  • Suno border print Lycra knit - $6/yard. I plan on sewing a coordinating workout top.
  •  Plum color Ponte knit - $6/yard
  • Gray "power stretch" knit - $6/yard
 Clockwise from top left:
  • Narrow plum/white stripe knit - $4.50/yard
  • Wide plum/white stripe kit - $4.50/yard. These two will be combined into one knit top for my daughter.
  • Beige and black chevron knit - $6/yard. I planned on sewing another McCall's 6612 knit pullover dress (blogged here and here) but the fabric is not as beefy as I thought so I will sew a top instead.
  • Black and white tie-dye stripe Lycra knit - $6/yard. Another top for my daughter.
From left:
  • White and purple polka dot woven - $6/yard. This one is destined to become a skirt.
  • Ignore that second fabric. That's the knit shown in the first photo.
  • A black and brown abstract print woven - $9/yard.  It has a lot of drape and I plan to sew a pair of wide leg pants.
  • A stretch woven with white roses on a navy background from the designer remnant section - $4/yard. I plan on sewing a summer dress.
I find this to be an interesting piece. As you can see from the above photo, it can be used on either side.  It is a woven that feels like something used for rain wear.  It was $6/yard and there was only two yards left on the bolt so I'll have to be creative when I use this one.

My last fabric purchase was this rayon border print knit. The flowers are huge!  This will be a dress although I'm not yet certain what pattern I will use.

And there you have it. My latest purchases from the infamous SR Harris Fabric Warehouse. I think these will keep me busy for awhile, don't you?


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Saturday, June 28, 2014

SR Harris Fabric Outlet - just another fabric shopping trip

Can you stand yet another post on the infamous SR Harris Fabric Outlet?

I only live about 40 miles from the fabric warehouse, which doesn't sound all that far. But, from where I live I need to drive through the heart of Minneapolis to reach the place and it can take me more than an hour. Doesn't sound so bad until you realize that you'll likely spend at least three hours inside shopping.  Add the commute time home and it's a five-hour ordeal.  I don't about you but my weekends are booked pretty solid and finding an extra five hours is difficult.

That's why, when I had a full-day of a work training scheduled only five miles from the place I hightailed it over there at the end of the day's training.  I could either spend a few hours fighting my way home in rush our traffic or spend a few hours waiting for traffic to thin out enjoying myself at the fabric store. 

I was looking for a few specific things this trip.  One was some appliques, which can be found in the rows of bins jam-packed full of appliques that cost $3 each. It requires patience and digging as there is no order to the items in the bins.
I didn't find what I had in mind, but did purchase these three leather embellishments.
I did notice they have increased the rows of quilting cottons tremendously.
The rows of silk always draws my attention. Although this visit I wasn't looking for silks.  The roll pulled out with the reds and purples was one I was debating about purchasing but decided no.  It was marked $25/yard so it sells for $12.50/yard.  Fabrics are all 1/2 of the price marked on the end of the bolt.
Since I had time to waste while I waiting for that heavy rush hour traffic to subside I began looking for the bolts with the designer fabrics.

I loved the texture of this SUNO fabric, but just couldn't figure out what I would sew with it since the colors could not be worn near my face.

 However I did purchase some of this SUNO border knit.  Remember, half off the marked price so this was $6/yard.

Others names I spotted while wandering through the aisles included Nanette LaPore.

Ellen Tracy (turn the sound off on your machine if you click the link to the Ellen Tracy site.)

 Nike knits

 Half of an aisle filled with bolts from Worth.  Keep in mind this is a warehouse and an aisle is quite long and quite high.
 The other half of the aisle was filled with bolts labeled "Made in Italy". 
In addition to these few bolts I showed you, there are wools, leather pieces and hides, linens, challis, dancewear, satins, cottons, fleeece, faux furs, home dec fabrics, home dec trimmings, laces, trims, zippers, buttons, and more. Whew.

If you haven't seen it yet, in 2011 I put a short clip on Youtube from one of my shopping trips to give you an idea of what to expect once inside.

I did notice  that the prices have gone up,  but I guess that's the case with everything. 

Next post I'll share my fabric purchases with you.


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Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Breeze Skirt - Simplicity 1662

"My, don't you look colorful!" 

I heard that comment twice today as I walked into the office wearing my Simplicity 1662 skirt.  

Was it meant as a compliment? Maybe, maybe not.  Who cares? When the sun is shining and the temps are soaring, I enjoy wearing colorful skirts and dresses.

This design is a hi low skirt with an elasticized waist. I sewed view B, a faux wrap, with the addition of a ruffle.
I appreciate how much the front pieces cross over on this design.  When that summer breeze becomes a gust of wind you don't want to drop what is in your arms to quickly try and keep your skirt in place. 

I also liked the separate casing for the waistline elastic.
The fullness of the skirt, the addition of the ruffle and the soft fabric created the perfect combination allowing the skirt to swirl and float as I walked. 

The fabric is a polyester print purchased at my local Hancock Fabrics in 2013.  In fact, I sewed this skirt within days of purchasing the fabric but didn't wear the skirt at all last summer. I'm determined to not let that happen again this year! 

For the office I simply paired it with a white cami, a turquoise green cardi, gold leather peep toe flats and clear beaded necklace. 

For running errands on the weekend I pair it with a sleeveless top and sandals. 
 This easy-breezy skirt is a breeze to sew and a delight to wear.  
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