Friday, April 26, 2013

Puppies and Flowers Sundress ~ Simplicity 1867

Have I mentioned before how in love I am with almost everything Riley Blake Designs makes?

Simplicity 1867 It's so Easy ~ Pattern Stash Contest

I assumed the dress would go together quick without issue and that the directions would be great as this is an "It's so easy" pattern.  I wasn't let down!  I chose View A but made it long like the dress, not the tunic.  There are 4 pattern pieces 1, 2, 3 and 4 -however I substituted the long skirt #7 for #3 and cut 2 on the fold as #3 suggests.  The dress is lined on the bodice.  I just love the cute top buttons on the design.  Miss K is still barely young enough for this but just edging out this style.  (Makes me sad my baby is growing up).  She is an 8 RTW so I sewed the 8.
front of the dress

There were no issues with the instructions, they were good.  I didn't do the ribbon steps - K doesn't like them.  Sew the bodice and it's lining; add the pockets to the skirt and gather, attach and do the buttons and hem.  Nice and fast.
back of the dress

FABRIC:  Pattern calls for 1 1/8 yard for the tunic skirt, however I used the longer skirt/dress so I used 1.5 yards.  Bodice called for 7/8 yard and I had 1 yard with a bit leftover - I think you can get by with .75 yards.  Fabric is Dress up days floral aqua and Dress up days bikes yellow, both from  I got the aqua print for $6.49/yard and the yellow puppies for $7.63/yard. Both were ordered just in February this year.  Buttons are from my vintage bucket.

close up of bodice

Total for the dress minus thread: $17.94

Love these buttons!

and these puppies!

Conclusion: I love the dress - it is so sweet!  I think I will only make it this one time though because Miss K is just edging out of this younger style.  Plus it is unique enough that one is enough. I highly recommend it though!
one more view of the front
And YES! I took pics outside today!  It is a luscious 63 degrees finally here in Wisconsin.  I'm in heaven - except for the vicious spring allergies!

Finally got some pics of Miss K in her dress :-)  The below pics were added 5/8/13

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Simplicity 3750 ~ Tank Top ~ Pattern Stash Contest

Simplicity 3750 "6 made easy" - it sounds promising, right?

In RTW I am a size small on top, usually a 6-8. I chose to sew View E. The pattern measured me at a 12-14 on top and 18 at the hips. I wen't against their judgement and cut a 10 on top to waist, grading to a 12 from waist to hip.  The top ended up a bit more snug than I like so if I sew it again I'll cut a straight 12.  There are 6 pieces for this top.

Instructions:  For the most part the instructions are what I expect for an "easy" pattern.  In step 1, make sure to sew just a tad above the big dots as I did as the instructions stated and sewed through them; in the end my  stitch lines were showing after I sewed the seam allowance here.  Also, if I didn't already know the concept of bias attachment the instructions would have lost me.  I skipped over reading them in steps 14-15 and 32-33.  Also, the pattern called for 1/2" wide single fold bias tape.  I used my bias tape maker for 1/2 inch and the bias was tiny, too tiny for my liking because it ends up being 1/4" after attaching.  Next time I will use my 1" maker so the binding is a nice 1/2".  The band ties are too short - I would cut them each 5-6 inches longer (pattern piece #5). The chest gathering part is a bit short in height.  The band doesn't fully go under my chest area (by about 1- 1.5 inches).  In the future I would make that area about 2 inches larger from bottom to top.  To gather on the bottom I used my elastic tape instead of sewing two rows and such.  It worked out great and turned out nice gathers.  The top is gathered by elastic - you sew a casing.

Fabric: Pattern calls for 1 yard of 45" wide for main part and 7/8 yard for contrast (the belt and ties).  I originally picked up this fabric 9/15/12 for a skirt but ended up not liking that pattern after first use.  I purchased both from Hancocks; Turquoise cotton lawn at $3.95/yard - I had 2 yards and used about 1 1/4. Black royalty broadcloth, cotton sateen at $3.99/yard - I only had 3/4 a yard and managed to just squeak out the belt and ties.  The fabric is almost see-through so I may have to wear a thin tank under it.

Total for the Tank, minus thread: $7.93

I think it is a cute top but I need it to be slightly bigger.  I would say the pattern is just ok - I'm not crazy about it but I don't dislike it either.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Sunday, April 21, 2013

New Look 6613 ~ Cute Sundress ~ Pattern Stash Contest

Pattern Stash busting still in progress here!  I'm on my seventh pattern now and I feel great about it.  It is a good feeling to be using the patterns I intended to use but never got to!

New Look 6613 Cute Sundresses

I chose to trace, cut and sew View A/B (the top two) in a straight size 8 for Miss K who wears a size 8 RTW.  There are only 3 pattern pieces for this dress, which is nice; one for the contrast band, one for the bodice, and one for the skirt.  The bodice is lined.  When looking at the pattern envelope, you don't see the back - I never knew the back had elastic gathers! LOL.  It turned out so cute and only took about 1.5 hours to sew.  The longest thing to tackle was hemming the skirt - because it is so full it took a bit of time.

front of dress

back view of dress

Instructions: Not one issue; perfectly fine and written well.  I chose not to add the bow, ribbon, or lace trimmings because Miss K isn't too keen on them.  I almost was able to match fabric pattern in the front. I think a contrasting top to bottom fabric would be lovely.  The only part I didn't like was attaching the back of the straps.  After you sew everything together you measure their placement and then simply top stitch over the previous casing lines.  As seen below.

Fabric: A lovely 100% cotton print I picked up ultra-cheap from Hancock's a bit ago.  It was on sale for $2.49 a yard. The pattern calls for 2 1/8 yard of 45" wide but I eeked it out of 2 yards just fine.

Total for the dress, minus thread: $4.98.

Love it!  I think I'll be tackling some other views of this dress because it is so fast and so lovely. The full skirt really makes the dress.

I had the dress done Friday but Miss K has had a 103.5 degree temp the last 3 days and I just somehow managed to get her to do pics today... she must be delusional from the temp lol

straps are pinned here for measuring but I finished them right after this (as seen above)

back view, inside out

And how is April treating us here in Wisconsin?

View from my front April, 21, 2013!

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Vintage Simplicity 8072 ~ Amazing Tank! (Peplum-ish)

I have been a busy bee the last 4 days!  Shamefully, it took me those four days to make this tank but I love, Love, LOVE it!!!

Pattern Stash Contest ~ Vintage Simplicity 8072

First I traced the pattern - The version I have is a size 12.  In RTW I am a size small on top - however, in vintage years I'm about a size 10-12.... LOL.  Anyway I wanted to make a muslin first because I had a certain saved fabric in mind for View 4 (the brown one on top right).

(finished tank - more pics below)

So Day 1 I traced the pattern pieces and haphazardly slapped a quick muslin together

I loved it.  However, what I failed to read carefully is that the band is on top on the OUTSIDE! not the inside.  Anyway I plugged on adding 3 inches to the length and took 1 inch off the sides from top to waist and leaving the width at the waist to hips.

Day 2 I started sewing the top.  Lucky for me, my walking foot arrived the same day.  It was nutso surgery to put it on my machine until I realized what the thing wanted me to do.  The walking foot worked perfect  for my slippery rayon challis fabric. I sewed the gathers on the top and put together the backs and attached to the front.  Then I went to the band and realized I forgot to cut the interfacing.  End of day 2!

Day 3 I finished most of the sewing.  Tragically I attached the band upside down at first and had to seam rip the entire top part.  Then I put the band on inside out..... OMG and had to re-seam-rip the entire top part again.  Frustration!  The seam ripper is evil.  Nonetheless I plugged on and got it right. I added the back buttons - my favorite part, and called it a day.

All night I kept thinking of the tank.  I couldn't wait to get up today - albeit raining and gloomy.  I finished the hem and straps.  LOVE!

FABRIC:  Ok, I've had this stuff a year and was afraid to part with it.  The fabric is a beautiful soft and buttery rayon challis.  Foolishly I only ordered 1 yard and they sold out quick.  I waited for the perfect project to use this stuff.  The official title "Rayon Challis Deco Turquoise/Orange" from  $2.99/yard. What was I thinking!!! I should have ordered 10 yards. ugh. kicking self.
The muslin was a cheap remnant of some nasty polyester stuff at Walmart for $0.60
The tie I picked up at Hobby Lobby for $1 - It is a satin navy.

Total Cost of Tank: $4.59 Besides Thread and Interfacing

inside view of front with casing (I made it with my bias tape maker! It was easy!)

My favorite part about the top - the back buttons!

Super sweet vintage buttons I found in my stash that surprisingly matched!

Front view

Instructions for pattern were great.  When I took the time to read and do each step everything was clear.  I had no issues.  I did not slip stitch the back pieces where the buttons are; I sewed them for a little more support.  I did not slip stitch the band facing, I stitched in the ditch on the outside of the top. Other than that everything was smooth.
I plan on making it again because I love it so much!  The rayon challis is lovely for this design but I think it may be a little too flimsy for the ties pulling through.  I might try a cotton next time - although the drape of the rayon is great here.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pattern Tracing Paper ~ What works best?

Unless you are a rebel when it comes to sewing, most likely you have used some sort of material to trace your sewing patterns.  If you are like me, you want to find one that works well and is economical to boot.  So which pattern tracing paper works best? Continue reading for a list of pros and cons of the top 3 tracing paper types most sewers use.

From Left to Right: Freezer Paper, Swedish Tracing Paper, Medical Exam Table Paper

Let's weigh out the pros and cons. Here is a lineup of all three in a completed traced and cut pattern.
From Left to Right: Freezer Paper, Medical Exam Table Paper, Swedish Tracing Paper

  • Not very expensive $5.76 for the box which is 33 yards x 18 inches wide or about $0.17 a yard
  • Can write on it easily
  • Pencil erases on it
  • Thicker paper - not likely to tear easy
  • Can iron it on to slippery fabric to cut it out easier as it sticks right on; once cut you can just peel it off the fabric or even sew with it still attached and remove after. 
  • Can not iron out the fold lines from storage - ironing will melt it to whatever it touches
  • It's thicker fabric so it may dull scissors
  • It is harder to see through to trace patterns as shown below.

Next up: Swedish Tracing Paper
Birch Street Clothing Swedish Tracing Paper - 29"x 30' White

  • Can write on it fairly easy with a dull # 2 pencil.  A sharp one tears at the paper
  • Can iron out the creases from storage
  • Doesn't wrinkle easy
  • Very quiet as it is more like fabric than paper
  • Thin like interfacing - not likely to tear easy
  • Holds nicely to fabrics when you are trying to cut them out
  • Easy to see through to trace patterns (see below)
  • Expensive $16.94 including shipping for the roll which is 30 yards x 29 inches wide or about $0.56 a yard
  • Pencil does NOT erase on it

Lastly: Medical Exam Paper
Medline Exam Table Paper - Standard - Smooth, 21" x 225 ft - Qty of 12 - Model NON23326

  • Very Inexpensive - Box of 12 rolls totals 900 yards of 21" wide for $35.98 or less than $0.04 yard!
  • Can write on easily
  • Pencil erases easy
  • Can iron out the creases from storage (low setting)
  • Easy to pin to fabric when cutting out
  • Easy to see through to trace patterns (see below)
  • Wrinkles very easy
  • Very noisy (it is just like the stuff you sit on at the doctor's office)
  • Very thin - possible to tear easier however I have not had issue with this yet

And there you have it!  For me the winner is The
Medline Exam Table Paper - Standard - Smooth, 21" x 225 ft - Qty of 12 - Model NON23326

Why? Because you CANNOT beat that price!  Plus it is see through and works well for my needs.  I have a box of 12 rolls/900 yards that will probably last me a lifetime!  I can deal with the noise - it is just the same with the pattern tissue paper noise.  I can deal with the wrinkles because I can iron them out on low setting.
I just cannot justify the cost of Swedish Tracing Paper anymore.  Plus, I won't run out now in the middle of a project! The medical paper is slightly more thick than the pattern tissue paper to give you an idea of what it is like.

*note: it is easy to trace Ottobre patterns onto the medical paper too.  It is nice and easy to see the colored pattern lines through the paper.

So what are your thoughts?  What do you use to trace your patterns?

 ~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Summer Fun Tank Top! New Look 6822 ~ Pattern Stash Contest

It's been rainy the last few days here in Wisconsin and you must think I'm crazy to be sewing tank tops!  It's ok though, we are going on vacation soon to Florida so we will be using these summer clothes sooner than normal :)

I'm still busting through some of the patterns in my stash for the Pattern Stash Contest.
Here is New Look 6822.

I'm not even sure why I have this pattern but I thought View D looked cute.  I traced it in a size 8 as Miss K is size 8 RTW.  It is in knit fabric so I figured it would be pretty forgiving size-wise.  After I traced it and put the shoulders together I had K try it on.  We both realized it was long ~ a tunic and not the tank we both were imagining from the pattern picture.  She told me where she wanted the hem to be and I marked it as shown below with my clips.

We also decided to adjust the casing line at this point too.  Miss K is higher waisted than the pattern called for. However, in the end I moved the hem down an inch from my clip marks(4-5 inches shorter than pattern) and I moved the casing line back to what the pattern states.

When sewing the shoulders together I didn't like how they wanted the casing for the elastic.  It would be really flimsy to sew the seam allowances together and have the elastic just hang out floppy.  I stitched the seam allowances down and toward the back of the tank to make the casing and I really like the result.
I also used 2 inches for the elastic; I'm not sure what the pattern asked for.

front side of shoulder elastic in casing
 wrong side of shoulder elastic in casing
inside finished view of tank with bias casing on waist
finished tank

Sewing the rest of the tank went good.  I straight stitched with my ball-point needle and then zigzagged the seam allowances.  I had NO idea what the directions were saying to do to finish the bias binding part on the V-neck part.  I used ribbing instead for the neck and armholes choosing to sew right sides together and then topstitching instead of the normal bias way.  I didn't add any bows to the shoulders because Miss K doesn't like them.

I chose a rolled hem because it added a more feminine touch and I am tired of doing folded hems!  The rolled hem is really way to easy.   
rolled hem

The directions for all Views are meshed together so it was a bit crazy to read then and find the next step.

FABRIC:  This is the last of my knits I ordered in February from The Fabric Fairy.  It is a wonderful cotton jersey knit called "He Loves Me Not" by David & Goliath.  I don't see it available anymore but I had 1 yard, 60" wide for $8.33.  The pattern calls for 7/8 yard of 60" wide.  I used only 1/2 - 3/4 yard because of the shortened length. The ribbing is from "Designer Cotton Blend Rib Knit Fushia" 50% cotton/50% poly.  It is a great medium weight rib knit.
back view
 front view
 side view
 Close up of front view - notice the sad pouty lip!!!

Conclusion: I love the tank.  I wasn't sure if I'd like it when it was coming together but I'm really pleased!  Miss K was in a foul mood today after school so I'm glad I even got any half-way decent pictures of her in it!  I'm surprised at the success of the tank because I wasn't sold on even trying the pattern in the first place.  I think I might want to make the cute little dress in View B now!  I really like the cinched shoulders and elastic in the waist, it gives the tank some nice shaping.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~