Kwik Sew 3567

It has almost been a month since my year long ready to wear fast was completed, and I am here to report that the first thing I bought was pajamas. Flannel pajamas from Victoria Secret. They were on sale for like 20 bucks, and VS flannel pajamas are the best. The flannel is so soft and light. The fit is comfortable. They are not too big nor too small…they are just right. No use making them when you can find ones you love at a good price. Right?

What is hard to find at a good price is nice workout gear. Running clothes are ridiculously expensive (as well as cycling and swimming clothes). Finding the right fabric to make workout clothes is not easy either, and the pattern selection is often lacking. Whenever I see fabric that would work for running or cycling clothes I buy it, usually several yards of it. Eventually the fabric makes it into workout clothes.

I used Kwik Sew 3567 to make this running top.  I needed something that was warm enough for cool weather, but not as warm as my merino wool base layer top which gets lots of wear this time of year.  The main fabric is Nike Dryfit that I bought from a fabric co-op and the dark fabric is a wicking fabric that I picked up as a remnant from Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics.

The Kwik Sew pattern is for stretch knits with 35% stretch and it is a close fitting top.  I made view A, size medium.

The pattern is a really quick sew.  I used a combination of my sewing machine and my serger.  All the seams are serged with woolly nylon in the loopers and then topstitched with my sewing machine.  I like my workout tops longer in the back then the front, so I added an inch to the back and rounded it up to the side seams.

I am really happy with how it turned out.  I love the side panels and the raglan sleeves.  I plan to make up a few more of these.  Yesterday, right after I took these pictures, I took it out for a test run.  I performed nicely. I think it will fit the bill for late winter/early spring running.  I can also see adding a back pocket to this pattern for a cycling top.

Do you sew active wear?  If so, where do you find your fabric?

The Lola Dress, AKA what I will wear all Christmas break…..

Last year, I started seeing several of the popular sewing bloggers post about the Lola Dress by Victory Patterns.  It is described as a comfortable slip on dress with raglan sleeves, ribbed hem bands, a front neckline “V” detail and oversized wrap around pockets.  The curved seams give a relaxed feminine fit.   The recommended fabrics are French terry knit, fleece knit, medium weight fabric with a slight stretch.

At first I thought, meh, but the more blog post I saw, the more the dress grew on me.  It is safe to say, I am not an early adopter (heck, I am still smarter than my phone).

As I began to warm to this pattern I saw this post by Lori.  Her dress looked so comfy and warm.  I headed right on over to Victory Pattern’s website and ordered the pattern. I went for the paper pattern, and I am glad I did.  There are lots of pieces to this little number.  I would have been pretty grouchy by the time I printed out the pdf pattern and taped it all together.

So here it is.  I used a piece of teal blue cobble cloth that has been in my stash for 10 years. Bam, that makes the dress nearly free!

I made a size 10, and even though I see a few fitting issues in the photos, I am still really happy with the results.

It is very comfy and easy to wear.  Since my fabric was somewhat heavy, I opted not to add the pockets.  I was afraid that it would make the overall look droopy.  I also did not add the “V” as the cobble cloth was a bit too ravely.

It is a pretty quick sew, even though there are lots of pieces and seams.  I made it in an afternoon, and it was very fun to sew.  The directions are easy to follow; however the technical drawings change the right side and wrong side shading a few times.  The written directions are correct though, so if you make it up, default to the written directions if you get confused by the illustration. I used my sewing machine for the seams and serged the seam allowances.   I will be making up at least one or two more. I wore it last night when friends came over to play pinochle, and then again today to finish up some Christmas shopping in town.  I think it would make a great cover-up for getting to the car from the pool or gym.  I am also thinking that it might work up nice in a running dress made out of tech fabric.   As it is, I will be wearing this a lot.  So comfortable and cozy. A nice change from sweat pants.

Trendy Sweatshirts

Since my daily wardrobe consists of jeans and knit tops, I started looking around the internet for some sweatshirt ideas.  I browsed the Neimen Marcus website, Dillard’s website and Nordstrom’s website, where I found this……

A Marni neoprene peplum sweatshirt….wait what?  Who thought this was a good idea?  Moving on, I found real inspiration from my sewing friends.  Mainly Justine’s review of McCall’s 6992.  I had this pattern in my stash, so I set about making me up a trendy sweatshirt.

I found the brown cotton French Terry, and the cool jersey print at my local fabric store, Cloth, in Boise.

Based on Justine’s recommendation, I went one size down and cut out a size 12.  I didn’t want a big baggy sweatshirt, like the unisex ones hanging in my closet.  I didn’t have any ribbing that matched or complemented, so I left it off of the sleeves.  If I do that next time, I need to remember to lengthen the sleeves.

It was my first time sewing darts in ragalan sleeves, and I really like how the dart helps shape the sleeve (please pardon the yellow lab hair).

Looking closely at this photo reminds me to tell you about the neckline.  I cut the neck band out of the terry on the crosswise grain, which didn’t have quite enough stretch.  I should have measured the neckline and then cut the band, rather than blindly following the pattern piece.  I should have made it just a tad bit longer.  As it was, I had to do lots of clipping to get it to fit the neckline, and know my neckband is wavy since I stretched it so much.

When I saw the cool jersey print, my first thought was to use it for the front and back and the terry for the sleeves.  Pauline, the owner of Cloth, talked me into using it as an overlay because the synthetic jersey would be cold, and since I live in Idaho, and it is winter, cold was not what I was going for.  Since the print has lots of visual texture, I decide to finish the bottom hem with black seams great.

I really like my finished sweatshirt.  Next time I am in the big city, I plan to stop by Cloth and  pick up some more French Terry.  It is very cozy to wear.  I also have some coming from Mood Fabrics, so look for more sweatshirts showing up here on this blog.

“Life is Good” Perfect Pouch

Today was our annual ASG Chapter Holiday party.  It is always so much fun.  A room full of like minded women when it comes to sewing.  We all LOVE to sew.  We always try to have a challenge for the year.  This year’s challenge was to repurpose something old into something new.  The ladies in our group came up with some great stuff and it was really fun to see them all.

I decided to use our old Life is Good t-shirts.  We love Life is Good shirts in this house.  We have several, and we wear them a lot.  A lot.  When they finally get ratty enough they go in my scrap bag.  I just can’t bear to part with them, and I figured if I kept them long enough I would do something fun with them.

While on a trip to Death Valley National Park this fall, I saw some really cute coin purses, made out of old Death Valley t-shirts.  I was like, hey, I could do that. So I did.

I used Lazy Girl Designs Perfect Pouches Pattern.

I had an old light blue shirt and an old dark blue Life is Good shirt in my bag.  I cut my fronts, back and lining out of those two shirts, and then I fused fusi-knit interfacing to each piece to stabilize the knit fabric a bit.  I also took 2 tags off the light blue shirt to use in my pouch. I made the small pouch.

Here is the front.

The zipper is an old white metal one that I found in my zipper bag.  Yes, I have a gallon Ziploc bag full of random zippers.

Here’s the back.

The tag gives me a tab to hang on to.

Here’s a peek at the lining.

I just love how it turned out, and I plan to make more.  I think I will use this one in my work bag to store writing utensils.

Thanks for stopping buy.


McCall’s 6796

We had a very long beautiful fall, and many of us got lulled into the nice weather.  Then one morning 2 weeks before Thanksgiving, it started snowing.  Nine inches later it stopped and I started thinking about sweaters.  Enter McCall’s 6796.

First I made up view B in a piece of sweater knit I bought at a thrift store for 2 bucks.  I cut a size 14 and sewed it up straight out of the envelop.

The fabric is more of a blue green, but it doesn’t show up very well in this flashed photo.  It is probably a polyester/acrylic blend.  I did a burn test when I got it home from the store and it definitely is man-made fibers.

The next view I made up was view D.  I made it out of THIS fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics.

I cut the collar on the cross grain rather than the lengthwise grain per the pattern.  I like how the stripes turned out. The one thing I don’t like is that I missed the side stripes by one so they don’t match up. My husband, says that no one will notice….no one who doesn’t sew that is.  Oh well, I still really like the top.  This is a very easy pattern, and it sews up quickly.  I will probably make a few more of view B.  Not sure if I will make another view D.  The collar is pretty distinctive.

Now that I have some warm tops sewn up, the weather has warmed up again.  Today was in the high 50’s.  Go figure.

What I’m going to wear for Thanksgiving part II

The Simone Cardi was one of the free patterns from Style Arc this summer.  As soon as I saw it, I was intrigued by pockets.

Style Arc patterns sends a fabric swatch with many of their patterns for the recommended fabrics.  The swatch that came with this pattern was a slinky like knit.  This cardigan requires fabric with drape, lots of drape, so I decided to use a bamboo jersey I picked up from my local fabric store, CLOTH.

Doesn’t it go well with my Thanksgiving top?  The cardigan is a pretty straight forward sew.  But there are a couple things to be aware of.  Cut out two neck bands and sew them together at center back before you attach them to the fronts.  This step is omitted from the directions.

The thing that gave me the most heart burn were the pockets.  They are made by darts and folding of fabric.  Very cleaver.  However, then when put the hem in, you have to stitch through 6 layers of fabric in the pocket area.  The bamboo jersey is sort of spongy which made those 6 layers very thick.

At first I stitched the hem per the directions, but I was not  happy with how it looked.  The transition between two layers and 6 layers looked BAD, like loving hands of home bad.  So I took the hem out and did a blind hem by hand.  That looked better, but it didn’t close the bottom of the pockets which I didn’t like when I put my hands in the pockets.

After pondering the problem for a day or so I decided to try trimming some fabric out of the hem allowance.   So I cut the two interior hem allowances, which are the bottom of the pockets, right at the fold line for the hem.

Then I turned the hem up and pressed.

Much better.  I then machine stitched the hem, which closed the bottom of the pockets as well.

I am not completely in love with how the cardigan looks from the side.  The side seams have a hard time standing up to the heavy front pockets and tend to pull forward.  It is hard to see from this picture but if you look close you can see a diagonal line coming from the side seam into the pocket.  I think a slinky fabric might have the texture/weight needed to eliminate that.

I am not sure if I will make up another one of theses.  I need to see how much I really wear this one.  I do plan to wear the combo tomorrow with my Katherine Tilton’s Vogue 8837 pants.

Now if you will excuse me, I must go bake some pies.  Happy Thanksgiving !

What am I going to wear for Thanksgiving?

I love Thanksgiving.  I love all the planning, cooking, eating, and pie.  Lots of pie.  Like one pie per person.  Oh how I love pie….annnyyyywaaaaay, back to Thanksgiving.  We are hosting the dinner this year, so preparation is under way.  I’ve been planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning and sewing. I decided to make another McCalls 6963 out of some silk jersey that has been aging in my stash for a little over a year now.  Hasn’t it aged well?  Isn’t it perfect for Thanksgiving?

I am really happy with how this top turned out.   This top is all about the print.  Oh, and it is silk, did I mention that?  It is heaven to wear.  So comfortable next to my skin.  Have any of you ever made something out of silk jersey?  Do it, you won’t regret it!  This fabric was a fabric of the day (sometime last year)  from Mood Fabrics at 50% off.  I quickly ordered two yards.  It is still available on the Mood website.  You can find it HERE.  Sorry it’s full price right now, but watch those sales.  I tell you, next time their silk jersey goes on sale I am all in. Here’s to a busy week ahead.  I hope you all find time to get into your sewing room.

McCall’s 6963

The fall has been so busy.  My days seemed to be filled with all things not sewing.  Mostly I have been canning, cleaning up the garden, canning, working, canning, and working some more.  I also became a great aunt again on October 11th.  His name is Christian David and we are all in love.  I took his newborn photos last Friday.  Isn’t he precious?

Well anyway, back to sewing.  A couple years ago, I found some cowl knit tops at Khol’s that fit me well and looked nice.  I bought one in every color and wore the heck out of them.  They were made out of thin cheap cotton, but I loved them because I could wear them with lots of different things and they were comfortable.  I have been looking for a pattern that resembled these tops, and when I saw McCalls 6963 I thought it might just be the ticket.

The fabric is from my local fabric store Cloth.  I fell in love with the grungy colorful feel of the fabric.  It is a very nice cotton/rayon knit ( I think).  I was so smitten with it, I forgot to write down the fabric content before I left the store.

I usually make up a size 14, but the description of the top is a “close fitting, pullover top” so I decided to go up a size. This fabric was a good reminder to really look at the fabric before you cut into it. The print is directional as well as a stripe.  Years ago, I probably would have cut the sleeves with the words upside down and not notice it until I attached them to the top.  Yes, I speak from experience.

This is a very quick sew.  Since it is a Palmer/Pletsch pattern, it has lots of fitting and construction tips.

I am really happy how it turned out.  Well, except for one thing.  As I was trimming the armscye seam I accidently clipped into the sleeve.  ACK!  It was a stupid thing to do, and I even was having that conversation in my head, “slow down, your going to cut something you don’t want cut,” and about that time, snip. ACK, ACK!  Thankfully it was the back of the sleeve.  I pondered over the mishap for a few minutes, and then reached for my fusible straight tape.

Two pieces of the stay tape and a black sharpie….almost as good as new.

You will never see it on a galloping horse.

I have another piece of fabric on the cutting table ready to go.  I think I will cut out the same si, but taper it back down to a 14 at the hips. I can tell already that  I am going to get a lot of use out of this pattern.

I took these photos last Sunday.  Today the same spot is covered in 7 inches of snow. I am so not ready for winter.

Ten Minute Table Runner…well more like twenty.

A few weeks ago, my mom and dad and I took a day trip to Crouch, Idaho.  Our main goal was to visit a quilt shop there that our ASG friends kept talking about. Stitch n’ Snip did not disappoint.  A very fun store in a beautiful setting.  It was a perfect day.  This store has a really really nice collection of batiks, and with summer winding down, I couldn’t resist the fall pattern and lovely colors of this fabric and the golden tones of the complementary fabric.  I decided that I wanted to make a quick table runner and set of napkins.  The 10 Minute Table Runner really took me a bit more than 10 minutes, maybe 20, and the 1/2 circle napkins took me about 30 minutes.  I had this project done in about an hour.  Bam.  The table runner is now on my dining room table with the golden yellow fabric side showing.  I will turn it over to the autumn leaves side soon enough, but I am not ready to say good bye to summer yet.  The total project took 1 yard of each fabric.  To make the napkins, cut a 17″ half circle out of the two fabrics, put the right sides together, stitch them together using a 1/4 seam allowance (remember to leave a hole to turn them right side out), press and topstitch all the way around.  Here is how you fold them.

This week, I hope to get back to garment sewing.  I just bought McCall’s 6963.  I can’t wait to make it up.

Thanks for stopping by.

The Margo Handbag

I made this bag in June at our ASG chapter educational day, and I have been using it all summer.

The other day, a neighbor asked me if it was a Thirty-One Bag.  I took that as a compliment.  In fact, I get lots of compliments on this bag.  It’s a keeper.  The pattern is a Lazy Girl Designs pattern.  I love all the interior pockets, and how the zipper is 1 inch below the top of the bag.

It also has 2 great pockets on the outside.

The back is perfect for a large obnoxious bold print.

The pattern calls for a Plexiglas insert for the bottom that you can buy through Lazy Girls; however, I used some plastic needlepoint canvas I already had on hand and it works just fine.  This is a terrific little bag to make and use.  I will probably make at least one more.

One more thing, September is National Sewing month!  How are you celebrating?  I plan to start my fall sewing and finish up some projects that have been hanging around in my sewing room way too long.