Thursday, March 05, 2009

Must. Sew. Purple.


Clearance.

DSW.

Any other questions?
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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sisterhood Award!

I probably shouldn't get excited by these blog awards, but I'll admit it. I do.

So thanks Lori for sending it my way!

(If you don't know, Lori's blog is Girls in the Garden and she also hosts the Sew Forth Now podcast. )


Now for the rules and then the nominations:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received your award.

Just as Lori did, I'm not listing these in any particular order. And I also would like to nominate all my Blogline feeds - but I just checked and I have over 300! So that won't work.

Lizz from Back to Sewing
Mary from Mary is Sewfast
Alicia from AliciaJeanae
Becky from Sew and so
Renee from Candy Stick Lane
Beth from Life is a Musical
Heather from Blue Bird Studio
Dana from Lean Mean Sewing Machine
Miss Linda from Threads of Loveliness
Keri from Quaint and Quirky
Stacey from JameeForever (and StaceyCrossley Designs)
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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Sewing tutorial: Sew a 90 minute beach cover up



(Warning: Lengthy post with many photos follows)

Ditch the t-shirt this summer in favor of a bit of glamour with this oversized beach cover-up.

The inspiration for this cover up came from a Neiman Marcus mailing. When I saw this black polyester caftan my first thought was “oh, how cute” followed by “I can sew that for a lot less than $120!

You can too. Why spend big bucks when you can sew one that's unique to you in 90 minutes or less?

Sizing:
  • One size fits most.
  • The length of the cover up is approximately 36".
  • The width of the cover up is approximately 78" at the bust and 58" at the hem.
  • Pattern can easily be made larger or smaller.
Materials:
  • 2 yards fabric. Choose a lightweight fabric that drapes well. This sample was sewn using a lightweight semi-sheer knit with a hint of sparkle sprinkled throughout. (From a Fabric Mart Fabrics mystery bundle.)
  • 1/2 yard stay-tape
  • thread
  • Ruler
  • Chalk or marking pencil
The pattern:
You can draw the pattern on paper or directly onto your fabric.


  • If you draw directly onto the fabric, make sure your fabric is folded in half before you begin.
  • Using a ruler, draw two rectangles that measure 36” (long) by 20” (wide)
  • Along the top edge, measure 3” from the fold and make a mark.
  • Along the bottom edge, measure 15” from the fold and make a mark.
  • Along the right edge, measure 12” from the top edge and make a mark. This will be the armhole opening.
  • Draw a diagonal line connecting the 15” mark along the bottom to the 12” mark along the side.
  • On the front pattern piece, measure 8” from the top edge along the center front fold and make amark.
  • Draw a diagonal line connecting the 8” mark along the center front edge to the 3” mark along the top edge. This is the front v-neckline.
  • On the back pattern piece, measure 1-1/2” along the center back edge to the 3” mark along the top edge. This is the back neckline.
Prepare to sew the cover up
  • Seam allowances are 1/2”.
  • Cut out the front and back pieces. Remember both pieces are on the fold of the fabric.
  • Cut one piece of fabric 1-1/2” by 30”. This is for the neck binding.
  • Cut 2 pieces of stay tape each 7” long. You’ll use this to secure the gathers at the shoulder seams.
Sew the cover up
Shoulder Seams
  • Gather each shoulder edge beginning and ending 1” from each edge.
  • Pull up gathers to measure 7”. Secure in place by sewing stay tape over the gathers.
  • You can easily make your shoulder seams longer if you want them to fall lower on your upper arm. Instead of pulling the gathers to 7" try 10" or 12".


    • Sew left shoulder seam together.
    • Sew right shoulder seam together, ending 2” before the neck edge. You’ll finish the shoulderseam after you add the neck binding.
    Binding the neckline
    • Stay stitch the center front point of the cover up. Clip to point.
    • Beginning at right shoulder, pin binding to neck edge right sides together. Sew together.
    • Fold binding to the wrong side, encasing the raw edge. Pin in place.
    • With right side up, stitch in the ditch to secure binding in place.
    • Trim excess binding fabric on inside of neck edge
    • To get a nice point in the binding, fold the binding with right sides together at the center front.
    • Stitch a small vertical seam from the point on the cover up to the top of the binding.
    • Finish sewing right shoulder seam.
    Side seams and armholes
    • Right sides together, sew the side seams ending at the mark you made 12” below the shoulder edge.
    • Hem the armhole opening.
    • Hem the bottom edge.

    Done!
    Enjoy wearing your new cover-up at the beach!





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Monday, March 02, 2009

Red, White and Blue ...

Vogue 2926 knit top copyright sharon madsen
... and black for good measure


Vogue 2925.

So incredibly simple you just can't stop at one.
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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Kwik Sew 3419 - A broken promise


It sure looked promising.
  • Kwik-Sew pattern- check. Always a good choice for basic t-shirts.
  • Royal blue knit - check. Always makes me happy to see this color back in vogue. Plus it coordinates with the summer skirt I recently sewed (Simplicity 2655).
  • V-neckline - check. Always a good look on me.
  • Close-fitting design - check. Always like to have a close-fitting tee for tucking into summer skirts.
  • Fullness at bust - check. Always like the ability to easily do an FBA
So what's the problem?
  • The finished t-shirt is too large.
  • The shape is more boxy than close-fitting and for this style to be flattering it needs to be close-fitting.
  • The neckline is too high. Too much fabric from the empire waist to the bottom of the neck vee gives an optical illusion of a larger bustline.
So what went wrong?
  • Cut and sewed a size M without measuring the flat pattern.
  • Made an assumption I would need additional length added to the upper bodice. Added 1" to the bottom of the upper bodice so the seam would fall under the bustline - without doing any measurements.
  • Brought the neckline up by 1-1/2" assuming that it would be too low. However, I also forgot to take into consideration that I was going to add a binding, instead of facings. The end result was a neckline higher than I wanted.
  • Didn't stop to pin fit the top as I sewed. I completed the entire t-shirt - including hems and neck binding - before trying the top on.
So what's the solution?
  • The short answer is to restitch the underbust seam to remove 1/2" to 1" of the additional length originally added to the upper bodice.
  • Sew deeper side seams to remove the bagginess and create a closer fit.
  • If that doesn't solve the fit issue, I may need to remove the sleeves and move the shoulder line in as the shoulders are just slightly too wide.
  • I may need to remove the binding and move the neckline lower.
  • For a $10 t-shirt do I really want to invest this much time into the fix?
Did you write a pattern review?
  • Yes. You can read the entire pattern review here (on PatternReview), including instructions for sewing a neckline binding versus facings.
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