Tuesday, June 30, 2015

New Look Cowl Tank and Long Skirt

My husband had a family reunion on Sunday and I wanted to make a quick new outfit to wear to it. I procrastinated until Saturday of course.  I wanted to make something  comfortable to wear as we had to drive a ways to get there.  I also expected hot weather. 


I prewashed, traced, cut, and sewed up these two all on Saturday.  I’m pretty proud of myself because I usually can’t sit and sew that long without pain.

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First I made the cowl tank: New Look 6470, View B


This is the same pattern I just made the other day in View D.  I also made it in view B twice last year (purple muslin and blue floral).  I love cowls but hate the lining flipping out all the time.  I fixed this by making the cowl lining the entire length of the shirt.  Essentially for the pattern you have the front with a mirror of the front up on top of it and then this all flips in half so you have cowl and underlining all in one.   It worked slick and now I don’t have to worry about any cowl flipping out.  (I like the extra coverage in front too).

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Size: 14 for shoulder and high bust, 16 at waist/hip; I took 3/4” out of the back neck in a slant to 0” at the bottom. I remembered from last time that the back neck was huge on me.  This accounts for 1.5” total out of the back neck. I added 1" to the hem as well.

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Fabric: 2 yards Black Matte ITY Jersey from Hancock’s, just bought for this project on Friday.  $11.18

Thoughts: I love this top. It is lightweight and feels great to wear.  It looks better than casual but not overly dressy. The fabric was easy enough to sew.  The only downfall is that it tends to snag easy. 


Next I decided on New Look 6054. View A


A simple skirt that doesn’t really require a pattern unless you are lazy like me and do not feel like putting any thought into it. I made this skirt way back in 2012 out of a linen blend and it is so comfortable to wear.  I had cut the pattern out in a size 14, sorry that won’t fit these hips! However, it was super simple to grade the pattern up to an 18.  Essentially if you follow the pattern sizing you would add 3/4” to the non-folded edge.

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I was squeezing this out of the 2 yards of fabric I bought, pattern calls for 2.5 yards of 60”.  I left off the tie for this one but did put in the button holes in case I change my mind.  I just didn’t want the added bulk at the waistline. 

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My fabric is pretty wild, perfect for a simple pattern.  I picked it up Friday from Hancock’s, too.  2 yards for $12.98.  It was on sale and I had a coupon.  Rayon Challis.  I hung the skirt for half the day Saturday before I hemmed it.  It grew just a tad, I had to take 2” off the hem. 

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Sunday came and I was all excited to wear my outfit – but the weather decided to rain and turn cold. HAHAHA.  Oh well, I love the outfit and will wear it often this summer.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

New Look 6470 and Ottobre 02/2007 #1

In my last post I warned you that I was on a tank top sewing spree…

New Look 6470 View D – modified
I made view B of this pattern last summer (purple muslin and blue ITY) and I liked them despite the issues I had with the fit.  The pattern found it’s way into my pile again this summer and I decided to give it a go.
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This time View D caught my eye with those cute shoulder gathers (hard to see in my busy fabric).  I had only 1 yard of fabric slated for this and needed something fast so I didn’t feel like doing the cross-over body thing.  Instead I omitted that and just traced and cut the front as one piece.  I also rounded out the neck which brought it up by 1".
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Size: 14 for shoulder and high bust, 16 at waist/hip; I took 3/4” out of the back neck in a slant to 0” at the bottom. I remembered from last time that the back neck was huge on me.  This accounts for 1.5” total out of the back neck. I added 1" to the hem as well.
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I used clear elastic to gather the shoulders and fusible bias tape on the neck and then turned and cover stitched.  I liked how easy it was to turn the fabric, however, I think it makes the neck too stiff now and it is a little wavy too.  I followed the directions on the arms – not wanting them to be stiff and inflexible. I folded up to 5/8” then folded the seam allowance in half so the raw edge was not exposed, then cover stitched.  This made for a nice and stretchy armhole but was a pain in the butt to get the fabric to cooperate with such small turning.
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Fabric: Gray Burnout Jersey Knit, 1 yard, $0.83 – WHAT?? Yes, $0.83 for this shirt Open-mouthed smile I’ve been going a bit crazy with the fabric mystery bundles at Fabric Mart lately. This came from a craft bundle in May – 6 pieces - mostly yards or a bit more for $5. It’s really cool because I am getting things I like but would never think of buying.
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So this fabric is a burnout, see-through in spots, lightweight, and is soft and fuzzy on the white spots - like flocked fabric.  I really kind of love it!  I’m wearing a white tank under it in the pics but I think a black one would look better.
Thoughts: I love it! It is a bit hard to see the shoulder gathers with this busy of a print but you can’t go wrong with how cheap it was!!  This will become a fast favorite, I’m sure.

Ottobre 02/2007 #1 “Tank Top”
Well, this tank wasn’t such a great success.  It has been banished to pjs already.  In all fairness, it isn't the pattern's fault, it is mine. My cover stitch binder gave me some issues and then one of the shoulders got messed up and I had to re-serge but it went crooked due to the binding. Sigh.  All my errors. 
Size: 40 Shoulders/bust, 42 waist/hip. 1/2” square shoulder adjustment. 1/2” swayback adjustment.
I bound the neck and armholes with my cover stitch.  The front looks great, except the one messed up shoulder.
The back is in serious need of a swayback adjustment. I didn’t pull it down before the picture either but it looks a mess!
Fabric: 1 yard of Jade cotton lycra from Purpleseamstress.com $6.50
Thoughts: This would be a great basic tank if I hadn’t fudged up the shoulder.  I will remake it in the future sometime; this one will be a pj tank.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Burda Tanks 10/2014 #103 and 05/2007 #109A

We have had a few hot days lately and that brings tanks to my mind. 

First up is Burda 10/2014 #103; This is a long-sleeved top and dress in the magazine.  I made the top before in long-sleeve and loved it but it was too tight.


I was confused at how to sew the top initially.  Burda’s famous directions didn’t help me much at all.  I loved the top enough to buy the sew-a-long video for it.  After 40-some minutes of watching I really only needed 1-2 minutes of the video; however, it was worth it because I loved watching someone else sew and learned some new techniques.  In the video the gal mentioned turning the top into a tank – AWESOME!  So I had to try. 



  • The pattern states to add 5/8” seam to the back neck but then later tells you to trim it to 3/8”. So I just made it 3/8” to start with.
  • I sewed a 38 in the shoulder and high bust, 40 in the bust, and 42 in the waist/hip.  I also added 1/2” to the back hip only (to accommodate for my large rear)
  • I them measured the flat pattern and was happy with the results. 


Gosh I love a cowl neck top.  I’ll admit that my cotton/lycra was a bit stiff for the cowl but I still love it.

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Fabric: 1 yard of Jade cotton lycra from Purpleseamstress.com $6.50


I tacked down (hand sewed) where the back crosses over the front by my neck. I found that without the tack the front didn’t like to lay right – it kept slipping to the armpit.  I also took 2” off the hem – it was super long (I’m 5’7”). I think it turned out great in fit and I can’t wait to try it in an ITY.

Next time I’ll add a 1/2” swayback

Up next is Burda 05/2007 #109A

I’ve made this tank twice before; once in blue/green stripes and the other in purple/gray stripes.


  • This time I used size 40 in shoulders/42 in bust and hip.
  • I added 1/2” to back hip only for my large rear.
  • I adjusted for a 1/4” square shoulder, 1/2” swayback, and added 1” to front neckline.
  • I used my binder attachment on my cover stitch to attach the binding.

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Fabric: 1 yard Cherry Red Jersey Knit (cotton/lycra). I purchased it August of 2014 from fashionfabricsclub for $5.50.  It is thinner than the purpleseamstress knits.  In hindsight I should have used this for the cowl top and the other for this top, lol. 


I love this top, however I think I made it a bit tight and too short.  I will be remaking again in a bigger size and much longer!


I’ve been doing a lot of prepping patterns this last week.  I have 2 skirts traced, prewashed, and cut. I also have another tank ready to sew and a pair of underwear.  Now I just need time to sew them!  What is on your cutting table?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Rash Guard and Swim Bottoms–Jalie 2805 & 3351

I know, I know; I said I was done with swimsuits, but they are so addicting, and fast!
Miss K loves all her swim shorts but she keeps complaining about the tanks.  I got so tired of it that I picked her up a rash guard at goodwill a few weeks ago.  She loves it but it matches none of her bottoms and is sort of big on her.  The other day she wore it in our pool and I got an idea to use a Jalie pattern to make her a rash guard myself.  I mean, it’s really just a swim t-shirt.  (How crazy it was for me that I sewed this up yesterday and then seen Dawn’s blogpost this morning that she sewed up 3 with this same pattern!)

I traced out Jalie 2805 with her exact measurements because I wanted it snug.  “M” for the shoulders/bust and “O” at the waist/hip. 

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I lined the front piece with the aqua so that nothing should show through but the strawberry ended up being thick enough.

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I also made her more swim short bottoms (gosh I’ve made these like 6 times now? 7? I can’t even count) to match with Jalie 3351. Size “S” at waist to “O” at hip; they are a little loose on her but she will grow.  I omitted the side pockets and just retraced that part to be even with the bottom of the shorts. They sew much quicker without that pocket Winking smile

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Miss K loves this – YAY for mom!  I really need to let her make the decisions from here on out with what I sew for her.  She says the fit is great (except the armpit is a tiny bit tight).  I will definitely make this again for her.

Fabric for both:The strawberry is an Italian Swimwear Print - ML228125 - from Michael Levine, Inc.   I purchased it May 2014, 1 yard for $10. It cut and sewed like a dream and is a nice weight. The pastel aqua I just purchased from Fabricmart, 1 yard for $4.40.  It was very slippery to cut and sew – no fun.  It is also really lightweight and see-through when wet. Why are solid swim colors always more lightweight than the prints… Total for the outfit = $14.40

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Summer Fun!
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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Jalie 3022 Shorts and Pants

So I’ve been working on a pair of shorts for 2 or 3 weeks now and having fit issues.  *shakes fist at fit issues* 

I’m consulting many fit books and I’m up to 5 muslins.  Whew.  I’m not giving up.
I have been feeling discouraged though.  One hot night when I was particularly down on myself I had a light bulb moment. Why not make some quick gratification shorts from a pattern I love and that I know fits well?  Something comfortable to get me through some hot days until I can conquer the woven shorts pattern.

And so it was.  I have made Jalie 3022 4 other times (once for K, three times for me) and I love them.  These pants fit awesome and the seaming makes any backside look amazing. My black pair fits so comfy and was made from interlock from JoAnn’s but is piling horribly. My second pair was a failed mess of cotton velour with not enough stretch. The third pair, green, from cotton lycra is just too tight right now.  Because I was sewing with cotton lycra this time I decided to re-trace the pattern in a bigger size and use the shorts line.  I upped my waist to a size “X” and my hip to a “BB” – these are each 2 sizes above my real measurements. 


I was in a hurry to have these sewn up so I didn’t topstitch the shorts.  They came together quickly and I was happy to find them fitting nicely. 


I used the scraps from my green pair of pants to sew up these shorts – they take so little fabric!  It is Forest Green cotton lycra with Jade cotton lycra for the band.


With shorts like these you wonder, will they ride up?  Sadly, the legs do tend to ride up, but only when I’m bending down, squatting, or moving my legs a lot, LOL. Most shorts from the store do this too so I’m not too concerned.  They were amazing to sleep in when it was hot and I look forward to wearing them around the house and yard with the kids this summer.

In Wisconsin our weather flips flops from hot to cold all the time so I also made another pair of pants with this pattern, since the first 3 are out of commission.  I used the same sizes as the shorts, X in waist, BB in hip and below. 

Sewing these is a bit time consuming because of all the topstitching but it is worth it.  This pair of pants doesn’t disappoint!  I love them and they will get lots of wear.


Fabric: 2 yards of Teal Cotton lycra  from purpleseamstressfabric.com for the pants $13, and scraps of my Laguna Stretch Cotton Jersey in Heathered Knit Pepper by Kaufman, for the band contrast.


It was nice to take a break from fitting stress and sew up something fast and rewarding. Now back to the fitting!

Monday, June 1, 2015

May Recap 2015

May came and went really fast!  I have been working hard on a shorts muslin that has made my eyes cross these last couple weeks!

10 items (including 2 wadders, 1 not shown), 7 and 5/8 yards of fabric. Total fabric cost $44.39

How did I do for May with my resolutions?
1 new pattern: yes, the kwik sew for K and the Jalie tanks
1 new Burda/Otto for me: didn't happen this month, I need to make this a priority
1 fabric stash: yep, 4 yards of it!
1 me make each month in 2015: yes, I managed 4 makes, 2 of them wadders.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~