Friday, July 22, 2016

New Look 6843 Skirt with Exposed Side Zipper

There are times when I purchase fabric with only a general idea of what pattern I will use.  That was the case with this skirt. I found this amazing piece of fabric a few years ago at SR Harris (my favorite local fabric shop).  I only purchased one yard planning to sew a pencil skirt.  I switched to an a-line when I decided to play around with adding an exposed zipper along the side seam.
This pattern is New Look 6843.  It's one of those basic skirt patterns that you could sew dozens of times and each would look different depending on the fabric and design elements chosen.
It was simple to change the back zip to an exposed separating side zip.
  • Determine the finished length of the skirt and purchase a zipper accordingly.  I used a 20" separating metal zipper that I had in my sewing supplies.
  • Cut both the front and back on the fold of the fabric, eliminating the back seam and back zipper.
  • Add a strip of interfacing along the left side seams before finishing the raw edges. 
  • Turn and press the left side seam 5/8" (the seam allowance) to the wrong side. 
  • Separate the zipper; place one side of the zipper right side up on the right side of the fabric aligning the zipper teeth just past the folded edge of the side seam; pin; using a zipper foot, stitch in place close to the zipper teeth; stitch again near the outer edge of the zipper tape.
  • Place the other side of the zipper right side up on the opposite side seam making sure the top edges of the zipper and skirt match; pin; using a zipper foot, stitch in place close to the zipper teeth; stitch again near the outer edge of the zipper tape. 
Simply finish sewing the skirt as per the instructions: stitch the darts, right side seam, add the waistband, and hem.
I added the zipper so it opened from the bottom of the skirt. It can be worn slightly unzipped for a side slit look or with the zipper closed all the way to the hem. The zipper stop falls lower than the hemline. The top edge of the zipper is turned to the wrong side when the skirt is hemmed. 
This skirt was cut and in my "to sew" pile for about six months. By the time I got around to sewing it I had misplaced the fabric waistband and the fabric scraps were long gone.  That's how the faux leather waistband came to be. 
Somehow I stitched the width of the waistband a wee bit off near the zipper opening. I wasn't sure how the faux leather would hold up if I kept restitching and trimming so I let it be.  If I was going to do this again, I might hide the bottom edge of the zipper in the seam line and have the zipper opening go all the way to the top edge of the waistband.
I sewed the skirt more than a year ago and was quite pleased with it, but have since gained enough weight that it is currently too small. At the moment, It is packed away in the hopes I'll fit into it again by the winter season when I can pair with a sweater, tights and boots. 


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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Big Sis, Little Sis Red Heart Skirts Sewn With New Look 6409

Big sister and little sister look adorable in their matching skirts. The skirts were sewn using New Look 6409, a pull-on skirt with an elastic waist.
The skirts were sewn as part of the Hancock Fabric's blog The Stitch that I mentioned in my post "McCall's 3830 Red Heart Skirt Inspired by Christopher Kane Pre-Spring 2016 Collection".  I also sewed a matching skirt for an 18" doll (instructions to follow in another post).

Supplies to make these skirts included the pattern, the same red stretch faux suede as the woman's skirt, 1" wide elastic, red thread, and iron-on heart embellishments. I purchased large and small as I wasn't sure which size I was going to use.  Not shown is red ric-rac and lace hem tape from my stash.
Rather than add a front slit to a child's skirt I stitched a row of ric-rac and added an iron-on heart to mimic the woman's skirt I sewed.
Adding the iron-on heart was pretty simple.  Place the iron-on heart on the right side of the garment with the sticky side down keeping the protective clear covering in place (A); press with a hot iron until it adheres to the fabric (B); peel off the protective covering once it has cooled.
I added lace hem tape before hand-stitching the hems.
It's a very simple skirt to sew.  The pattern also includes  a multiple full skirt with optional overlay, and trim options on the slim skirt version.  I would probably add width to the slim skirt and shorten it next time. On the older girl it's rather long and she's quite tall for her age.  I choose to use the smaller heart, but looking at the photos I think the larger one would have worked better on the older girl's skirt.

A big thank you to my girlfriend for letting me to sew for her girls and allowing them model the finished skirts on my blog. 

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Saturday, July 16, 2016

McCall's 3830 Red Heart Skirt Inspired by Christopher Kane PreSpring 2016 Collection

"Hurry up! It's cold out here," I exclaimed to my photographer/hubby as we attempted to get shots of this skirt for a post on the now defunct Hancock Fabrics' blog The Stitch

"Just pretend that it's hot and humid outside," he replied.  Yea, that didn't work very well. If we had shot video you would see me shivering. 
Rest assured, it is not currently snowing in Minnesota in July.  These pics were taken last winter before Hancock Fabrics announced their bankruptcy (in February 2016).  I had signed on to be a sewing blogger for the company, but new blog posts from contributors were put on hold soon after the announcement. 

Hubby wanted to take pics outside for the natural light, but my goodness it was cold that day!  He kept cracking jokes which made for a lot of funny outtakes. 
My inspiration for the red heart skirt came from the Christopher Kane Pre-Spring 2016 collection.
I recreated my version using McCall’s 3830, one of my favorite straight skirt patterns. It must be a favorite of many as it’s been in the pattern catalog since 2002!  
I purchased red stretch faux suede, an invisible zipper, an iron-on heart, coordinating thread, (from Hancock Fabrics of course!) and also used interfacing and Seams Great from my stash.
 I sewed the long version, altering the pattern to move the back slit to the side front.  I kept the slit fairly modest in case I wanted to wear the skirt to work. I debated whether or not to add the iron-on heart, stitch my own fabric applique heart, or skip it completely, again keeping in mind what would be more work appropriate.

Ultimately I added the bling as I liked the subtle red on red and the fun surprise on a basic skirt. 
I added a small patch of interfacing to the top of the slit seam to help reinforce that section.
This fabric was super easy to sew, but boy did it want to ravel! I finished all of the seams with Seams Great after my serger quit working mid-project. I pressed the slit open and hand-stitched the extension to the inside of the skirt.

I followed the manufacturer’s directions, and applied the iron on the heart crystal embellishment just above the slit opening.  I learned that I need to keep a tweezer handy as those little crystals like to shift!  So the final application is bit off. 
This was a fun project. While I was sad that I could not share this on Hancock Fabrics' blog, I was really saddened by the news that they were closing their doors. 

Coming up: Part 2 of the planned blog post for the fabric store, the coordinating girl's skirt inspired by the designer skirt. 

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Wednesday, July 06, 2016

The Cold Shoulder Look with Hot Patterns Metropolitan Urban Gypsy Blouse

I wasn't planning on wearing an off-the-shoulder look this season ... but then I sewed the HotPatterns Metropolitan Urban Gypsy Blouse and quickly changed my mind.
I've been hesitant to try the off-the-shoulder tops. Mainly because I don't want to invest in a strapless bra that would not get much wear.  So I've sewn a few tops with cut out shoulders and admired the off-the-shoulder took on everyone else.

When StyleArc introduced their Cara top I was so tempted to purchase that pattern! I don't even remember how many times I placed it in the shopping cart and then removed it.  I really liked the flat front band, but was not sure how the gathers would work with my bustline.

Then I stumbled upon the Urban Gypsy Show and Tell on YouTube and discovered this Hot Patterns design had a shelf bra - and a flat band in front with darts and no gathers. Sold!
While waiting for the pattern to arrive in the mail, I set off to find fabric at SR Harris, my favorite local fabric store.When I found this panel print I knew I had my blouse fabric.  I'm not sure of the fiber content as that information is not included on fabrics at SR Harris, but I would guess it's a polyester. It's blouse weight, but not sheer.
I did a small FBA to the blouse, as well as the shelf bra. I ended up not adding the shelf bra as it only would have been necessary if I planned on going braless, which I am not.

I like the flat front of the band, combined with the dart. I think it works well on my bodyshape.

If you follow me on Instagram (@sharonmads), you saw a couple of the pics of the progress.  I sewed the entire top using French seams as the fabric liked to ravel. I also finished the hem and tie ends with a narrow hem (the same technique I used on the Burda 6762 top blogged previously).  It took extra time but it was well worth the effort.

The tie cuffs are such a nice design detail.

My biggest challenge was trying to determine how much elastic to add to the shoulder/back area.  It's stitched in place before the side seams are stitched, so I pinned everything, tried it on, and made my decision.  Now that it's completed, I can tell it's a bit loose on the upper back. 
Even though you can see it falling down in the back, I did not feel the need to adjust this top while it was worn. It felt like everything was in place and I was in no danger of exposing anything. I think that's due to this being a well-designed pattern.
I've only sewn with a HotPatterns pattern twice, and that was years ago. The first one was a fit disaster and the second was a simple knit top that didn't require fitting. I'll admit I was slightly nervous about trying another one, but I'm so glad I did!  If their other patterns are drafted as nicely as this one is, I'll be a repeat customer.
Sadly, I have no place to wear this top. I'm going to have to schedule a dinner and wine night with my girlfriends if hubby doesn't take me out soon just so I can wear it!

Finally, a picture with me and my little one. I warned you in my last post that there will be more pics with her as she's my old girl and if she's not sleeping she's right next to me.


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Monday, July 04, 2016

Burda 6762 Pullover Top With Emma One Sock Fabric

"Is your neckline ripped?" 
Said my photographer/hubby when I asked him to take a closeup picture of the neckband design detail on this top.  "No," I replied, "it's intentionally sewn this way."

This colorful top is Burda 6762.  It's a pullover hi-lo hem top with three sleeve options and a wide round neckline with different facing options.

I sewed view C (the orange one on the pattern envelope) with the neckline from view B (the white and black one on the pattern envelope). 

This colorful piece of fabric was a roll end from Emma One Sock that I had to have. Maybe you can relate. You're "just browsing" a fabric website for no reason except to see what's available.  Suddenly a piece of fabric jumps out at you. You're not sure what you will do with it, but it must be yours. That's how I ended up with this piece.  My hubby isn't too fond of all the colors, but that's what appealed to me.

When the fabric arrived, I was able to see just how large the repeat was on the fabric. That's when I knew it required something with simple lines so the fabric would take center stage. There wasn't quite enough for a simple summer dress, so it became a top.

I would have liked the black along the lower edge, but I wasn't able to play with the pattern placement much since the roll end yardage was limited. I placed the pattern in a way that I was able to match the pattern stripes along the side seams. 
Sewing the top was fairly simple.  I did not make any pattern adjustments, which was a bit risky on my part as I almost always need an FBA (full bust adjustment).  Fortunately there is enough ease in the bustline that an FBA wasn't needed.
I found the neckline to be very wide, so I ended up stitching the facing and neckband using a 3/8" seam allowance instead of 5/8".  The neckband is a separate piece that is partially sewn, then stitched to the front and back of the neckline. The sleeve caps are cut on the bias.  The back on view C is quite long. 
To finish the bottom, I did a narrow hem. I stitched 1/8"from the edge; turned to the wrong side; stitched 1/8" from the folded edge; turned to the wrong side; stitched in place.  I also switched to a straight stitch needle plate on my sewing machine to help me control the fabric.
This top is so comfy to wear! When I find the right fabric I'll definitely sew myself another one.

Finally, a picture with my sweet old girl. We're not sure how much longer she'll be around (hopefully another year or two!) so I will probably have lots and lots of pictures with her when I post my sewing projects.

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