Tuesday, October 27, 2020

A Comfy and Cozy Camo Fall Top ~ BANFF Dolman Sweater Pattern Review

Fall weather has finally arrived here in Texas. That means the a/c is turned off, the shorts are tucked away, and the long sleeve tops are once again being worn. I recently sewed the Banff Dolman Sweater from the Sew News Capsule Studio Plush pattern collection and have found myself wearing it over and over. 

While there are a plethora of dolman sleeve knit top patterns available to sew, this one has a colorblocked yoke which makes it a bit unique.  Plus it was included in this PDF pattern collection :-)

It's a very 80s shape, and I recall having multiple dolman sleeve sweaters back then.  A quick count in my closet revealed I currently have six dolman sleeve tops that I'll rotate through this season.

The recommendation on this top is to choose the size by your waist measurement. I'm guessing because it's designed to "bunch" up at your waist, rather than fall over your hip.  I choose the pattern by my full bust adjustment, and then graded down in the hip area. 

The fabric recommendation is for a middleweight sweater knit with 50% stretch.  The camo sweater knit, from Cali Fabrics, met that recommendation. The black knit was a remnant I had in my stash.

On my camo version I lowered the neckline and contrast yoke by 1" as I wanted it to be more noticeable. 

If you sew this, I'd suggest you print, tile, and trace your pattern pieces in your size before purchasing fabric as what you need may be less than what is printed in the instructions.  Also, note that you need less fabric than what is called for if you do the contrast yoke. That was confusing to me due to the layout illustration provided in the instructions.  At first I thought I needed to cut the yoke in BOTH the contrast and body fabric and perhaps line the yoke. But as I read through the instructions I realized that was not correct. 

This camo version is the third one I sewed. The first one I sewed just to check the fit. 

I used a sweater knit remnant that I had purchased last winter. On this one you can see there is no contrast yoke, and the neckline is higher. 

This was when I discovered the hip area needed to be brought in, and that the lower sleeve was too tight. I could only pull it up about 3" and I like to pull my long sleeves up to my elbow. 

I also had to colorblock the back as I didn't have enough of the floral remnant for the entire top. 

I'll see if my daughter wants this one as I don't care for it as much as the camo version.

The second one I sewed I tried using a ponte knit. Just because I was curious how the fabric would behave in this design. No pics as it the knit was much too stable and didn't look right on me. Perhaps someone with a smaller bustline could get by using a stable knit but not me.

The neckline is finished with a narrow neckband turned and stitched to the inside of the top. The construction was different than I expected also. The neckband is added to the front and back pieces before stitching the yoke shoulder seam. After the yoke is stitched together is is stitched to the top. 

It's an easy sew, and I'm quite happy with my comfy and cozy camo pullover sweater. 

As I mentioned in my previous post reviewing my pink Kawartha Cardi Jacket  this collection is a "textured inspired cozy pattern collection", that includes  six PDF patterns, each available in sizes XS (bust 33", waist 24-1/2", hip 35") to 7X (bust 58", waist 49-1/2", hip 60").

I'll have a review of the MOONSTONE Jumpsuit in the next few days. 

I did do a video review on my YouTube channel of all of the pieces. 

Sew News is offering a savings of 15% on the Plush PDF pattern collection by using the code PLUSH15 (expires on Oct. 30, 2020).

Blessings!








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Saturday, October 24, 2020

Pink Shearling Knit KAWARTHA Cardi Jacket Pattern Review ~ Sew News Capsule Studio: Plush

The KAWARTHA Cardi Jacket is another PDF pattern included in the Sew News Capsule Studio: Plush. It's designed for shearling or a heavy knit. I choose to sew mine in this bright cotton candy pink shearling knit I purchased from Super Textiles (link to Etsy shop here). 

Kawartha Cardi Jacket in Pink Shearling Knit worn by Sharon Sews

The KAWARTHA jacket has a shawl collar, facings, and open front with a fur hook and eye closure. I added a patch pocket on the right side as I like having a place to tuck my phone. 

Kawartha Cardi Jacket in Pink Shearling Knit worn by Sharon Sews Close upKawartha Cardi Jacket in Pink Shearling Knit worn by Sharon Sews

The jacket is a pretty quick sew. After all, there are very few pattern pieces.  The recommendation is to choose this pattern by your bust measurement. I choose to sew a large based on my full bust measurement. I didn't do a full bust adjustment and had plenty of room in the bust. However, the hip area flares out, and I'm not sure if that was an intentional design feature or not.

Kawartha Cardi Jacket in Pink Shearling Knit worn by Sharon Sews showing pocket

Here's the back view. I like that it covers my rear :-)

Kawartha Cardi Jacket in Pink Shearling Knit worn by Sharon Sews Back View

The designer rated this one as an intermediate skill level, and I'm guessing that is because of the construction of the shawl collar. If you've never sewn one before the instructions might seem confusing.  One thing I added was to zigzag together the inside seam that attaches the back and collar necklines. I think it helps to keep that shawl collar in place.

Kawartha Cardi jacket inside pic of neckline seam

I also choose to lightly hand stitch in place the front facing. I found the facing wanted to flip out and needed to be secured. The fabric has so much texture you can't see the small stitches. 

Kawartha Cardi Jacket in Pink Shearling Knit worn by Sharon Sews

I'd suggest printing, tiling, and tracing your pattern in the size you need before purchasing fabric. This called for three yards of fabric, which is what I purchased. I only used two yards so I could have saved myself $13. Although I now have a yard of cuddly cotton pink knit to make myself a cozy infinity scarf so I'd say it actually worked out pretty well!

Sew News Kawartha Cardi Jacket Pink Shearling Knit Flat Lay

However, I did make a small change to make the layout more efficient. The jacket and sleeve is one piece (no armhole seam) which takes a lot of fabric when you're laying this out. I shortened the sleeve by a few inches and added a cuff at the bottom.  That may or may not work for you depending on the size you sew.   That line you see at the bottom of the sleeve is the seamline where I added the "cuff", not topstitching. 

Kawartha Cardi Jacket in Pink Shearling Knit worn by Sharon Sews

The cardi jacket closes with one fur hook and eye. You put the jacket on and determine the placement that works best for you. 

As I write this post the temps have dipped to below 60s and this cardi jacket is the perfect weight! I think it will get a lot of wear during the daily dog walking excursions. Not too heavy with a pocket for my phone. Perfect!

As I mentioned in my previous post reviewing the Bala Wrap Top and Tremblant Pants, this collection is a "textured inspired cozy pattern collection". Perfect for the lifestyle I'm leading right now...casual.

This collection includes six PDF patterns, each available in sizes XS (bust 33", waist 24-1/2", hip 35") to 7X (bust 58", waist 49-1/2", hip 60"). 

I'll have a review of the BANFF Dolman Sweater and MOONSTONE Jumpsuit in the next few days. 

I did do a video review on my YouTube channel of all of the pieces. 

Sew News is offering a savings of 15% on the Plush PDF pattern collection by using the code PLUSH15 (expires on Oct. 30, 2020). 

Blessings!

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Friday, October 23, 2020

BALA Wrap Top and TREMBLANT Pleated Pants Pattern Review

The BALA Wrap Top and TREMBLANT Pleated Pants are both PDF patterns included in the Sew News Capsule Studio: Plush. 

Bala Wrap Top from Sew News in lemon print worn by Sharon Sews

The capsule studio collection includes tips for sewing cozy fabrics, like Minky, as well as information on sewing with faux fur.  There are also tips for matching plaids included with the instructions for the pants. 

There are six PDF patterns in this collection, each available in sizes XS (bust 33", waist 24-1/2", hip 35") to 7X (bust 58", waist 49-1/2", hip 60").  

Sew News Capsule Studio Plush six pdf patternsSew News Capsule Studio Plush six pdf patterns

I sewed five of the six: BALA Wrap Top, TREMBLANT Pleated Pants, BANFF Dolman Sweater, MOONSTONE Jumpsuit, and KAWARTHA Cardi Jacket. I didn't have the supplies on hand to sew the WHISTLER Bucket Bag. That's a sewing project for another day.

Make note that the seam allowances vary per project, so be sure to double check if you need to use 3/8", 1/2", or 5/8".  I'd also suggest you print, tile, and trace your pattern pieces before purchasing fabric. Depending on the size you sew you may be able to get by with less fabric than what is listed.

Today's blog post is the review for the BALA Wrap Top and TREMBLANT Pleated Pants

The wrap top wraps in the back and has long ties that tie at the front.  It is a cropped length, is designed for woven fabrics, and is rated as beginner level sewing. You're instructed to choose your size by your bust measurement as the waist is adjustable due to the long tie.  

Bala Wrap Top from Sew News in lemon print worn by Sharon Sews
It's always a bit of a dilemma for me when a pattern suggests using your bust measurement. Do I use my upper bust measurement (which puts me in a smaller size) and do a full bust adjustment, or my full bust measurement and hope there's enough ease? 

Back View of Bala Wrap Top by Meg Healy worn by Sharon Sews
In this case I used by full bust measurement and sewed a L. I also did about a 1" full bust adjustment. Once I was done I realized I should have used a M with a full bust adjustment for a better fit in the shoulder area. I find that I fuss with it a bit when it's worn. 

Bala Wrap Top from Sew News in lemon print worn by Sharon Sews
I also wish I had added a few inches of length and lowered the side seam opening where the tie ends slips through. It currently sits about 1-1/4" above my waist which may be one reason I feel like I need to keep adjusting it.  As is, it definitely needs to be worn with something that has a high waist. 

The fabric is a lightweight lemon-print crepe I purchased from Super Textiles on Etsy. I finished each seam with a narrow three thread on my serger as the fabric raveled a bit.  The tie ends have a facing, which eliminated the need to do a tiny hem - yay!

Bala Wrap Top from Sew News in lemon print worn by Sharon Sews
I think the top is cute, but it is so out of my comfort zone that I honestly don't know if I'll wear it or not. I'll tuck it away until spring and by then I might decide it's perfect :-)

The pleated pants are designed for woven fabrics, use a 1/2" seam allowance, and are rated as an intermediate sewing level. 

https://www.sewdaily.com/product/sew-news-capsule-studio-plush-pattern-collection/
The cropped pants have pleats in the front, a flat front waistband, a back elastic (1-1/2" wide) waistband, and in-seam side pockets.  There was a time in my life when I would never have been caught wearing any type of elastic around my waistline. But those days are long gone and I now find I love the comfort of the elastic. Anyone else relate?

I sewed these out of a black polyester crepe, probably purchased from Fabric Mart Fabrics. It's been in my stash a LONG time, so I was happy to use it to test the fit of these pants.

These are a size medium, although I meant to sew a large. I traced the medium by accident and didn't realize my error until the pants were completed. While they fit, I do prefer a looser fit in my pleated pants. 

Tremblant Pleated Pants in Black Crepe worn by Sharon Sews

I forgot to use a press cloth when I pressed the pleats so the fabric is shiny there. Annoyed with myself as I know better. The good thing is these really were just meant for me to test the fit of the pattern, and the fabric had been in my stash for so long that it was basically free :-) 

I'll have a review of the BANFF Dolman Sweater, MOONSTONE Jumpsuit, and KAWARTHA Cardi Jacket in the next few days. 

I did do a video review on my YouTube channel of all of the pieces. 

Sew News is offering a savings of 15% on the Plush PDF pattern collection by using the code PLUSH15 (expires on Oct. 30, 2020). 

Blessings!


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Thursday, September 03, 2020

All Dressed Up and No Place to Go - the Burda 06-2020 #101 Jumpsuit

When the June 2020 BurdaStyle magazine arrived I knew I wanted to sew the jumpsuit on the cover. And I don't even like jumpsuits.

Then I picked fabrics that were not even suggested! I know, a sewing rebel, right? LOL.

BurdaStyle 06-2020 #101 Jumpsuit Black Sequin and Knit worn by Sharon Sews


The jumpsuit is designed to be sewn in lightweight wovens, like a rayon challis. I loved the fabric of the sample shown on the magazine cover and really, really wanted to sew mine in something similar. Well, truth be told I wanted that exact fabric!

When I realized I wouldn't be able to find something even close, I put the idea of sewing this jumpsuit out of mind.

That is, until a sewing challenge on Instagram popped up. It was called a #sewingbowlchallenge. When you expressed interest in participating, the organizer pulled out components of the challenge from six little fishbowls (which is how the name came to be).  My challenge was to sew 1) from a magazine or book 2) a suit, 3) in a neutral, 4) using colorblock, 5) with my choice of fabric, 6) in three weeks. 

I was stumped at first as I kept thinking business suit.

But then I had an ah-ha moment and decided to make it work by sewing a jumpSUIT (#2) from BurdaStyle MAGAZINE (#1), in BLACK (#3), using both a sequin and solid knit COLORBLOCK (#4 and #5). 

Voila!

BurdaStyle 06-2020 #101 Jumpsuit Black Sequin and Knit worn by Sharon Sews

I love this jumpsuit! And as I eluded to earlier, I'm not a huge fan of jumpsuits. In fact, the 80s was probably the last time I wore that trend.

However, the knit makes this one very comfortable, and the sequin on top makes it pop!

BurdaStyle 06-2020 #101 Jumpsuit Black Sequin and Knit worn by Sharon Sews close up of bodice

The top of the jumpsuit is not attached to the waistline, something that was not obvious to me when I first looked at the photos. The top portion is attached to the side seams and the front ties are crossed once the jumpsuit is on. As you see in the above photo it does leave a small gap of skin showing. But hey!  Cutouts are supposedly a trend for Fall 2020 so I'm right on trend, right? LOL.

BurdaStyle 06-2020 #101 Jumpsuit Black Sequin and Knit worn by Sharon Sews showing front ties open

The pant length is designed to be cropped, just above the ankle. Construction is simple with the neck and sleeve edges finished with a knit binding and an elastic casing at the waist. 

The back is scooped with a small slit opening that closes with a hook and eye.  Yea, let me tell ya...that is not exactly easy to re hook when you need to use the restroom. I may change that to a small invisible zipper which I think would be easier for me to use. 

BurdaStyle 06-2020 #101 Jumpsuit Black Sequin and Knit Back View

The sequin fabric was a "mystery knit" from Fabric Mart Fabrics. The black ponte knit was also purchased from Fabric Mart Fabrics.

While its an impractical garment for the current environment we're living in, I do love it. I can hardly wait till all restaurants reopen so I can wear this out to dinner with my hubby. 

BurdaStyle 06-2020 #101 Jumpsuit Black Sequin and Knit worn by Sharon Sews
Blessings!

By the way, this jumpsuit was included in my July Makes video on YouTube if you want to see it in action. 


 







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Wednesday, September 02, 2020

The NEW Itch to Stitch Antrim Dress - a Fit and Flare Knit Dress in Florals and Stripes

I like the easy comfort of a knit dress and this one has the added bonus of a flattering cross over bodice (no gaping!) and waist detail (that gives the illusion that I still have a waist!)

This is a new release from Itch to Stitch and I must say this will likely become another favorite! The waist detail is slight ruched, the flared skirt is a flattering, and there are pockets!

 The Antrim Dress was released on Sept. 1, 2020 and will be 20% off for one week (through Sept. 7, 2020. )

Itch to Stitch Antrim Dress worn by Sharon Sews in a DBL striped knit

This striped version was the first one I sewed. It's a double brushed poly knit that I found at Walmart of all places. It was one of those pre-cut bundles they offer for sale. I purchased it to use when testing the fit of a knit garment. 

After sewing the dress I realized I rather liked the final dress and added it to my closet. 

This dress pattern, a PDF by the way, is available in sizes 00 to 40, with multi cup sizes.  Well you know how I love a well-drafted pattern than allows me to eliminate doing my own FBA!   And I think it's fantastic that the designer has expanded the size range as this dress appears to be flattering on everyone.  Have a look at all of the tester photos in this blog post!

Itch to Stitch Antrim Dress in striped floral DBL knit worn by sharon sews in front of garage

I've always been a bit hesitant about wearing cross over bodices due to the potential for - ahem - over exposure. If you know what I mean :-)   The beauty of the multi-cup sizes on this knit dress pattern means I can be comfortable leaning over knowing I won't be sharing more than I wish with the world. 

I also like the length of the sleeves as they are great for transitioning into cooler weather.

Itch to Stitch Antrim Dress in striped DBL knit back view worn by sharon sews

The waistline detail is created with two waistband pieces. The outer waistband is gathered at the side seams and basted to an inner flat band before being sewn to the bodice and skirt.  You'll want to make sure you choose a knit that isn't too heavy as there is a bit of bulk at the seams due to all of the layers.

Use a light to medium weight knit fabric with 50% to 60% stretch and very good recovery.  The DBL knit fabric worked well for this dress. It was also easy to sew. I don't typically like double brushed knits as they are warm to wear, but I figured it would be great for a season transition dress.

After sewing this one I decided to try the dress out of an ITY to see if it fit differently.  I had this floral ITY in my stash, a previous purchase from Fabric Mart Fabrics. 

Itch to Stitch Antrim Dress in Floral ITY Knit from Fabric Mart Fabrics worn by Sharon Sews with Skirt blowing in wind


I love the look of this floral moving into the fall season.  This particular ITY was rather slippery and difficult to sew. I've only purchased a "slippery" ITY knit one other time. Usually it's a breeze to sew - and wear. 

The neckline was more difficult to finish with this knit. Again I'm sure it was due to the nature of the fabric. You do have an option of using a knit lining for the neckline facing band, which, in retrospect, I should have used. 

If I pair this with boots and a cardi, I'll be able to wear this through the winter season also. 

Itch to Stitch Antrim Dress in Floral ITY Knit from Fabric Mart Fabrics worn by Sharon Sews

Did I mention the pockets?  I like that they are deep - you can fit your entire hand (or phone) inside - and they are attached to the front waistband so they don't flop around inside. 

Back view Itch to Stitch Antrim Dress in FLoral ITY KNit worn by sharons sews

This dress is another favorite to add to my growing list of favorite Itch to Stitch designs!

I like the designs so much that I am now an affiliate. That means if you purchase an Itch to Stitch pattern using my affiliate link I receive a small commission - at no extra cost to you.

Here is the link to the Antrim Dress pattern.

By the way, I did receive a copy of this PDF pattern at no charge because I was a pattern tester. The designer only asks for feedback on the fit and construction as well as a photo that can be used on the Itch to Stitch website.  Writing this blog post is not a requirement. I do so because I love the dress and want to share it with y'all!

Wishing you a blessed day!





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