Tuesday, January 07, 2020

It's All About the Sleeves ~ Vogue 9243 Top

My last make of 2019 was this princess seam top with statement sleeves!
I wore the top, along with my sequin print pants, to dinner on New Year's Eve. (Review of the pants coming soon.)  Because we decided to go out to dinner only three days prior, I didn't have much time to sew something to wear. I don't know why, but I always think I need something new when it's a special night.
At first I dug through my BurdaStyle magazines looking for a dress to sew. As I was considering a number of designs, I thought about where we are currently living.  A party dress would work in the metropolitan area we left behind but not so much here, especially at the restaurant we were going to.

I'm so glad I choose to wear this top and pants instead of going with my original plan. I felt that I was dressed pretty casually, but I was by the far the most dressed up person in the restaurant.
The pattern is Vogue 9243. It's an Easy Options pattern featuring a princess seam top with a back zipper and sleeve variations.
It's designed for woven fabrics.  I ended up using a black ponte knit, because I couldn't locate the piece of black silk I know I have - at least I hope I still have it. It may not have survived the big sewing room purge of 2019 that coincided with the big move. Anyway, I think the ponte knit worked great, and it's so comfy because of the stretch.

I knew I wanted to use the novelty knit for the sleeves, and debated between view A (top green one one the envelop) and View F (bottom blue one on the envelop). View A won only because I didn't have enough of the novelty knit for View F. 

French Seams were used for the underarm seam, and I left the bottom edge of the sleeve unhemmed.
I did my usual alterations - a full bust adjustment (about 1"), a slight forward shoulder adjustment, and slight sway back adjustment.  I did scoop the neck by about 2" additional inches.

With the ponte knit I probably could have gotten by without the back zip, but ended up adding it. Now that the top is complete I can indeed get in and out of it without a zipper.

The novelty knit is a fine net with a series of two different size squares of netting tacked on to create the texture.  With some time and patience one could reproduce the look. 
When I'm wearing the top I want to walk around gently waving my arms up and down showing off the movement of the sleeves - but that's not very practical, is it? :-) 

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Saturday, January 04, 2020

An Animal Print Wrap Jacket Vogue 8930 ~ AKA The One That Took Me Four Years to Sew :-)

Happy 2020!  I'm starting the new year - and new decade- by finishing some of my sewing WIPs. I had posted a YouTube video about two months ago sharing what I had to finish.  Figured if I went public I'd be more likely to finish.  Seems to be working as one is done!
Vogue 8930 Animal Print Wrap Jacket worn by Sharon of Sharon Sews blog
This wrap jacket is Vogue 8930 (and currently still in print). I love the BIG collar!  In fact, that's what attracted me to the pattern.
Vogue 8930 Animal Print Wrap Jacket worn by Sharon of Sharon Sews blog
The only drawback to this big collar it that is covers so much of the beautiful fabric. I'll probably scrunch it up more around my neck so it doesn't fall over my shoulder as much.

Let's talk about this animal print fabric!  I bought it from Emma One Sock in 2016.The poly/wool cheetah print was described as a "medium weight washable fleecy jacquard woven with a yarn-dyed cheetah design in rich and vivid tones of teal, mocha and black. It has a brushed, fleecy texture on the face and a flatter knit on the reverse, but the cheetah pattern is on both sides."  The wool content is only 10 percent. I can't wear wool without itching, but I hoped the low wool content would be okay. I'm happy to report, so far so good.
Vogue 8930 Animal Print Wrap Jacket worn by Sharon of Sharon Sews blog
Knowing this jacket required fabric that looked good on both sides, I thought it would work beautifully.  And I was right!  I'm really happy with the jacket, but I did have a few challenges along the way. In retrospect they were minor challenges, but they did cause me to tuck this into my sewing closet and leave it alone for nearly four years!

The pattern is rated "Very Easy" and it is indeed easy. I sewed view A, which is the shorter view. It is an unlined, single-layer jacket. However I didn't read the description close enough because I missed the "raw edge finish" part.
Pattern cover for Vogue 8930 wrap jacket
 Basically to construct the jacket you are instructed to stitch the seams by lapping one over the other (matching seam lines) and stitching in place with two rows of stitches.  As I did so, I realized the fabric was raveling rather a lot. But did I stop? Nope, of course not. I kept going, until the jacket was ready to be hemmed.

At that point I realized it was not going to work as sewn and that I would have to rip out all of the stitches and resew everything. 

So, what did I do? I folded it up and told myself I'd rip everything out "next week".  Ha!  Next week became next month, then it was next season, then next year, and before I knew it we were packing to move to Texas.

And the jacket still wasn't done. But I couldn't leave it behind! So it moved to Texas as one of my sewing WIPs.
Vogue 8930 Animal Print Wrap Jacket worn by Sharon of Sharon Sews blog
During one of my recent bouts of insomnia, I spent an hour ripping out all of the stitches. Seriously, it only took me an hour!

At that point I cut off all of the raw, ravelled edges. The jacket is oversized so I knew cutting away some of the seam allowance wouldn't have an impact on the fit.
Cutting ravelled edges off of the sleeve fabric piece for Vogue 8930
I decided to line it (View C is lined) so I cut out the back and sleeve lining pieces, figuring the ravelling seams could be zig-zagged and hidden inside the lining. Except to line the jacket I needed to "self-face" that big ol' collar, and I only had scraps of the animal print fabric left.

French-seams to the rescue! Every seam in this jacket is a French-seam, which I then pressed to one side and stitched in place. Ha! Take that you raveling fabric!  Those seams are not going to unravel anytime soon.
Since I wasn't 100 percent sure how I was going to attach the back lining to the front (with out the self-fabric facing piece) I decided to just line the sleeves, thinking lined sleeves would make it easier to slide the jacket on no matter what I wore.

I basted the lining to the wrong side of the sleeve and treated it as one piece.
Lining basted to wrong side of sleeve on Vogue 8930 jacket
Doing top stitched French seams on this fabric made for some bulky seam intersections!
Wrong side of jacket showing french seams on Vogue 8930 Sharon Sews blog

I finished the raw edges (collar, jacket hem, sleeve hems) by turning the fabric to the right side 3/8" of an inch and pressing in place.

Next, I placed velvet animal print ribbon over that and stitched in place along both edges of the ribbon. My handy-dandy knit-edge foot for my Pfaff was perfect for making sure the stitches were even.
Using PFaff knit-edge sewing machine foot
The velvet ribbon shows on the collar, since the wrong side of the fabric shows.
close up of velvet ribbon trim on neck edge of Vogue 8930 wrap jacket
The ribbon is hidden on the inside of the hems, but I love that little detail. If I hadn't lined the sleeves I probably could have made this completely reversible as all the seams and edges are finished neatly.
Inside out Vogue 8930 jacket
But I definitely like the "fuzzy" side of the fabric being the right side. Especially from the back side of the jacket.
I sure wish I hadn't waited nearly four years to complete the jacket. Once I ripped out all of the stitching and started over, it only took me six hours to complete.  Here I am, contemplating why I waited so long :-)
Vogue 8930 Animal Print Wrap Jacket worn by Sharon of Sharon Sews blog

On the bright side, by waiting I now have a brand new jacket that is perfect for Texas winters! 


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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Animal Print Demin Wrap Coat | Simplicity 8217

I sewed a coat!  Well, it's just a wrap coat, but it still counts :-)
I stitched this up a few weeks ago when Texas had a "cold" spell and I realized I had no coats appropriate for 30 to 50 degree F weather. Everything I packed and moved is more appropriate for the bitter Minnesota winters I left behind.

The pattern is Simplicity 8217, which apparently just went OOP (out of print). Of course I discovered that right after I published a short video reviewing the pattern on my YouTube channel (I'll link it at the end if you're interested.)
This coat first caught my attention when I saw a version on Instagram in a fabulous pastel colored wool.  Even though I don't wear wool (hello itchy skin!) I knew I'd like to sew myself a version of this coat. The pattern was released in 2016 and I sure wish I had sewn it sooner than two weeks ago.
Let's chat about the fabric for a moment. It's an animal print denim! Plus it has silver sparkles on some of the spots. Oh, I loved it the moment I saw it on the shelf at SR Harris. This was one of the fabrics I picked up in September when we made a visit to Minnesota.
Did you notice that there is no belt around the back of the coat? That's because the two ties in the front are sewn into the front dart just below the bust. I love that! For two reasons:
1) Having the tie above my waistline gives me the illusion of a smaller waist, and
2) Belts on my wrap coats would always work there way out of at least one belt loop when untied so I'd be walking around with the belt practically dragging on the ground.

Now when I want to wear the coat open the tie belt stays put!
The only alteration I made was to lower the bust dart by 1" and the placement of the ties by 1/2". The coat ended up a bit larger than I'd like in the shoulder area and I may go down a size in that area next time.

The lining is a bright orange silky print from Fabric Mart Fabrics.  I had plans to use black lining but decided to have bright pop of color instead.
In addition, I added piping between the facing and lining. I think it's a nice extra touch. 
I added labels on the facing along the lower right edge. Since the surgery, anything against my neck seems to bother me.

The blue label, which says "You Are Beautiful" was custom ordered from Dutch Label Shop. I added the size tag, the Handmade With Love, and a care tag in case the coat would ever be donated to a thrift shop. Although I don't really see that happening because I LOVE this coat!

I did have to stitch the facing to the coat to keep it in place. I stitched in the ditch (about 1-1/2" long) on both shoulder seams, as well as the center back seam. Here's the inside of the center back facing showing the stitches.
Pockets are a necessity with coats (at least in my opinion) and this coat has inseam pockets. They're black as I added them to the coat before deciding to use the orange fabric for the lining. 
Can you tell I'm really pleased with this coat? It certainly wasn't a complicated coat, but it was still fun to sew - and even more fun to wear! 
By the way, here's the link to my YouTube video review if you're interested.


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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Easy to Sew Maxi Cardi - Pattern 131 from BurdaStyle February 2016 Magazine

This is one of the quickest sewing projects ever! Because there are no unusual design details, it's the fabric that will make or break the look of this maxi-length cardigan.
Sharon wears BurdaStyle Magazine Maxi Cardi 131 from Feb. 2016 Issue
  Sharon Wears BurdaStyle Magazine Maxi Cardi 131 from Feb. 2016 Issue Back View
I choose a lightweight, semi-opaque, ribbed knit from Emma One Sock.The fabric has a soft feel and up close looks like tiny silver sequins.
Fabric Photo from Emma One Sock - which is where I purchased the fabric.
The pattern I used is from the February 2016 BurdaStyle magazine, cardi 131.  It's actually a plus size pattern, which is too large for me in the shoulder/neck area. However I knew this cardi could be loose fitting so I simply traced the smallest size and eliminated the seam allowances. 
One thing I like about this plus size cardi pattern is that it includes a dart. When you have a larger bust like I do, a dart (even in knits) helps provide a nicer fit.
BurdaStyle Magazine Maxi Cardi 131 from Feb. 2016 Issue Sharon wears the cardi
The pattern goes together so quickly! Just stitch the shoulder seams (which I stabilized with fusible stay tape), stitch the sleeves in flat, stitch the side seams, turn under the front edge, stitch in place, hem the sleeves, hem the bottom.
Sharon wears BurdaStyle Magazine Maxi Cardi 131 from Feb. 2016 Issue
I ended up with a 2" hem at the bottom, which is a little wider than what is allowed on the pattern design. I like the wider hem with the lighter fabric as it gives some weight to the bottom of the cardi.
Sharon wears BurdaStyle Magazine Maxi Cardi 131 from Feb. 2016 Issue
As I mentioned in the title, the fabric you choose will make or break this cardi. I'm really pleased with how this fabric worked in this design.
I stitched everything on my sewing machine using a narrow zig-zag stitch. Because I STILL have not taken my serger in for repair. I think that will be one of my 2020 goals. :-)

Now I just to need to quit sewing grey and black and get more color in my wardrobe!


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Monday, December 02, 2019

Simplicity 8982 | A Floral Print Knit Top with Lace Sleeves

When Simplicity 8982 was announced (on Instagram) as the November #SewYourView pattern, I immediately knew I was going to sew the top (view c) and probably the skirt (view d).  I even pinned an inspiration dress on my Pinterest board to use as a guideline for the sleeves.

I had a chance to stop at SR Harris when we were in Minnesota a few weeks ago. In preparation I  created a list of patterns I wanted to sew, along with the fabric needed for each.  This foil print knit was not even CLOSE to anything I was looking for! But I swear as I walked past it, the bolt JUMPED into my cart! And I'm glad I did.  I think the foil knit looks lovely made into this pullover top.
Sharon Sews wearing Simplicity 8982 pullover knit top
Before I go any further, here's the pattern I'm writing about.  I picked it up at Hobby Lobby during one of their pattern sales as it's a great basic knit pattern with a lot of design options.
Because I fell in love with the floral foil fabric and was determined to use it for the top, I had to make some modification. You see this fabric is almost like a stretch woven instead of a knit.  It had less than 1/2 of the stretch required for this design. Of course I didn't bother checking the little Pick-A-Knit rule on the back of the pattern envelope - or the recommended fabrics - until I had already cut out the pattern pieces.  In retrospect I probably should have chosen a different pattern. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20 isn't it?

I knew I would need a full bust adjustment (FBA) no matter what knit I used. I began by adding 3" to the bustline using the pivot and slide method.  I basted the front and back together to check the fit. There was enough room but it was tighter than I like and I knew if I left it that way I'd never wear the top.  So I added a little more width which required a small side dart. I'm much happier with the way it feels.
Simplicity 8982 top with added side dart
If I had thought it through before cutting out my pattern pieces, I would have added a center back seam with a zipper.  Because both the front and back are cut on the fold, I needed to scoop the neckline to make sure I could get it over my head.  The scooped neckline is actually a better look on me versus a high round neck or turtleneck.
Simplicity 8982 in foil print knit worn by Sharon Sews
 I narrowed the neckband in addition to the scoop neckline. I used my edge-foot to help guide the stitches along the neckline.
Simplicity 8982 Scooped Neck and Neckband on Sharon Sews blog
I changed the sleeve also. I used the sleeve for view A, cutting it off at the elbow.  I took the pattern piece for the view C sleeve and traced it from the elbow to the hem.  I then slashed it and added an  additional 10" of width and 3" of length. I shortened the cuff by 2".  I used the foil knit for the top of the sleeve and the cuff, and the middle portion is black lace.
Even though I didn't choose a knit fabric recommended for the pattern, I'm really pleased with the top!  Of course knowing no one else has a top from this beautiful floral foil knit is an extra bonus.
I do plan on using the pattern again, this time with a stretchier knit :-)

By the way, I put a video on YouTube with my fabric purchases from SR Harris if you're curious what I found on my last trip.  (Here's the link: https://youtu.be/yuxAMBSI-LI)

Until next time - Blessings! Pin It


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