Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Simplicity 1366 in a Nani Iro fabric

Admittedly, I am a fabricholic. I like pretty fabrics and more often than not, I succumb to impulsive buying. But I do not always fall madly in love with the fabrics that I buy. Only a few have evoked such reaction from me and one of them is this silky feeling lightweight linen from Naomi Ito--the Nano Iro "Chant et Poesie."

This fabric carries my favorite colors (browns, warm pinks), includes scribbling (which I am crazy about) and has selvages pretty enough to be included in the garment's fashion side. 

Apparently there is a poem hidden in the textile that says "The heart is a garden where beauty is born."

To highlight the fabric, I chose a very simple pattern. 

View D is a simple top with no darts or lines in front or back. It has a nice wide bateau-like neckline and elbow length sleeves. 

The pattern pieces for front and back are supposed to be cut on the fold.
For the front, I duplicated the bodice pattern to create the whole piece and be able to move it around the fabric and choose where I want parts of the print to be placed. 

For the back, I added 5/8" seam allowance and decided to cut two pieces, hence creating a center back seam. This allowed me to save on fabric and utilize the selvages and show them off at the center back. 

Since construction was very simple, I took my time planning tiny details that I will only be able to see in the end! Here I'm matching serger thread colors to the fabric.

I thought the serged edges turned out pretty!

For topstitching around the neckline, I chose to match the mauve pink hues from the fabric. 

I used the triple stitch for topstitching. 

Here you can still see the basting stitches under the triple stitches. 

This is the center back. The blue print is actually part of the fabric's selvage. 

One sleeve. 

Another sleeve. 

I like that no two sides of the top (front or back, left or right) are alike in terms of fabric print!

And now for some modeling shots!

For more details about the pattern, check out my review at PatternReview.com. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Style Arc Sienna Jacket

If you are looking for a graceful unstructured jacket that is easy and fast to sew, then this Style Arc Sienna may just be the answer. 

As always, I'll be posting a detailed review of the pattern at PatternReview.com. This post will concentrate on the sewing process involving the chosen fabric which is matte hybrid. If you are not familiar with this, it is a  reversible polyester spandex blend with a jersey side and a matte crepe side. It has 35% stretch widthwise and is quite drapey. I usually buy mine from Emma One Sock and she has shared a very helpful sewing guide which can be found here.  I followed Kathryn Brenne's excellent tutorial on handling that fabric and it made the construction process of this jacket a smooth and painless! Just a few of the tips I followed included:

*lower the pressure foot to make it easier to feed the fabric through the machine
*use microtex needle size 60 and polyester thread
*use pressing tools to aid in pressing since the fabric could not tolerate high heat

Since this jacket is unlined, I had to make sure the inside seams were properly finished. This fabric was prone to a bit of fraying. However I chose not to use my serger as the outline of the bulky stitches created would show through the right side. 

I used one of the overcasting stitches on my regular sewing machine (Juki F600). 
The center stitches are from the cover stitch machine which I used over the center back seam in an attempt to keep that seam nice and flat. The polyester fabric did not take to high heat so unlike cotton or linen, it was not possible to achieve a perfectly flattened seam allowance. 

This is the right side of the center back seam. 

The pattern calls for a lot of stitching in the ditch. Using the right machine foot makes the job more accurate. Above is the Juki edgestitch foot (R) which I also use for stitching in the ditch. 

Close-up of the sewing foot. 

Before stitching, I handbasted to make sure I catch the edge of the collar on the wrong side. 

A view of the back collar after it was stitched. 

The pattern provides one with the option to attach a front facing that becomes part of the waterfall edge. Leaving out the facing will require one to finish the edges nicely. I opted to use the facing. 

For the front facing, I used the jersey side of the fabric as the right side to provide a nice albeit subtle contrast to the crepe texture of the main body. It is not stated in the pattern but one has to finish the edge of the facing that is hanging free.

The front facing is anchored at two points. One is at the shoulder seam. 

The other anchor point is at the hem band. 

It may be helpful to know that the front facing will only partially cover the shoulder seams so best to finish that seam before attaching the facing. 

Although the jacket was simple to sew, it required some careful matching of crossing seams like the seams of the undersleeve and the princess seam at the back. To ensure this and avoid unpicking, I  machine basted just the area where the two seams met before stitching the whole seamline. 

Another area where crossing seams have to be matched--the hem band and facing, and the hemband and center back seam. 

I guess that's it for construction. Here are some photos of the finished garment. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Butterick 6527 My Waterfall Cardigan with a Little Twist

The first time I made this pattern was last year for the Pattern Review Sewing Bee and I did not really dedicate a detailed blog post about it. Just to refresh your memory, here is the version I sewed.

This time I used a very lightweight cotton blend knit that feature "designer holes!"

I got this fabric from Marcy Tilton and bought only one yard. That was not enough to include the sleeves on the pattern so I paired it with a black cotton knit jersey from my stash. I made sure both had similar weight and stretch characteristics. 

I will be posting a review of this pattern at PatternReview.com soon. The thing that needs addressing about this pattern is the way the back neckline and front edges are finished. Merely turning them inside won't work because it is inevitable that the wrong side will show with the way the front cascades. 

Let's look at my first version where I addressed the issue by sewing a reversible trim along the entire front opening edge.

For this current one, I left the front edges unfinished because the fabric looked good from both sides. 
The unfinished edge was also in keeping with the deconstructed nature of the fabric. 

However, the back neckline was a weak point so in addition to fusing a knit stay tape, I also bound it with knit fabric. 

Hard to see clearly but I sewed the edges of the binding with triple zigzag. 

Here's a better view. 

A view of the wrong side which also shows the serged edges of the armsyce. 

One modification I made was to add ruching to the sleeves. 

It was quite easy to do this. There are lots of tutorials online and I found Pamela's Patterns video on sleeve ruching very clear and helpful. Here is the link to her YouTube video.

In a snippet, I just cut a 10" piece of 3/8" wide elastic and triple zigzagged it to the sleeve. I had to do it several times though until I was happy with the final length of the ruching. So if you are like me and unsure, do some machine basting first before finalizing with zigzag stitches. 

I am quite happy with how this cardigan turned out. It is less overwhelming than my original version and is just the perfect topper for a summer shell. 

Thanks for stopping by!