Sewing – Summer Tunic
July 15, 2013
This is one of my latest summer sewing projects that I finished recently – this navy tunic top. I made this top using Simplicity pattern 1668. Once again it was one of those bargain 99 cent patterns I got from Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago. The pattern can also be made into a dress with a waist tie. So far I have only made the tunic.
I love this top! It is lightweight and comfortable to wear. The size I made, according to my measurements, fits well. Although I think the next time I will scoop out a little more depth for the arm syce area. I prefer for my sleeveless tops to have a little more depth under the arm. I think it is because I have bigger shoulders so I usually need a little more room in this area. Another great thing about this top is it matched my chevron skirt that I also made recently.
The top has a gathered shoulder area and a gathered front that has elastic in the center. The back of the top has a large pleat. See photos below for front and back views:
This pattern has quite a few pattern pieces but is fairly easy to sew. I would recommend it to anyone with intermediate sewing skills. Sewing the front elastic casing area was a little involved and requires some patience. Also, for the armhole facing I did not use the recommended bias tape – I just made my own from 1.5 inch bias strips.
I made this particular top out of a lightweight broadcloth. I am planning to make another one this summer. I have not decided what color yet – maybe white so it will go with everything.
Currently I am working on a denim upcycle bag made from old jeans. I am hoping to finish it soon so I can post it on my blog in the next week.
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Tank Tops made from T-shirts
July 6, 2013
I just love pinterest! It is such a great way to find ideas and inspirations for just about everything.
These tank tops were projects I found on pinterest and decided to make. Both of them use a t-shirt to make the tank.
The royal purple one above was made using the directions I found from the Wobisobi site. The project is called No Sew Halter and if you click on the highlighted text it will take you to the tutorial. It is very easy to follow and requires no sewing. I have made two of these now. There are lots of other no sew t-shirt ideas and tutorials on this blog as well.
The red one to the left was made using a tutorial from crafterhours blog. It is called tee to tank and if you click on the highlighted text it will take you to the tutorial. I also found this through pinterest. This particular tank does require a little bit of sewing. I added a little of my own creativity to this one by hemming the bottom by couching down a variegated yarn that I had leftover in my stash from another project. I also used this yarn to knit some i-cord for the straps at the top and neckline. The i-cord then ties on one side. I really like how this tank top turned out.
After making the red tank top I got inspired to use my pattern making program, Bernina My Label, and make my own version of this tank. I used part of the halter top pattern that is from the My Label patterns and this batik fabric to make the multi color version below.
All of these tank tops are super easy and quick to make. A great way to recycle an old t-shirt and create something new to wear for summer.
I hope everyone is having a nice weekend. It is hot here in Texas so I will probably be wearing one of these tank tops this weekend.
Sewing Pattern Review on Skirts
July 3, 2013
I love to make skirts for spring and summer. The fabrics they offer for these two seasons are just perfect for long or short skirts. I also think that it is more comfortable to wear a skirt when it is hot outside than pants or shorts, sometimes.
I was recently at Hobby Lobby again – it seems I go there about every other week – and they had Simplicity patterns for .99 cents again. I can not resist buying one when they are that low – even though I don’t need any more patterns!
This pattern, Simplicity 1662, offers 5 styles of asymmetrical skirts. The skirts attracted my attention because they look comfortable, different than any of my other patterns, and easy to make.
So far I have made two of them using view A. The navy one (photo above) is in a lightweight broadcloth and the red one (see photo below) is in a cotton print. The red one I altered a little on my own to have a straight hem in the back. I am always changing things on patterns, it seems, to create my own design. The skirts have only a few pattern pieces and an elastic waistband.
These skirts are so easy to sew. Definitely a project a beginner can make. I have been sewing over 25 years and from start to finish, including cutting out the fabric, I made this skirt in a little under 2 hours. A quick and easy summer project. I am planning to make view E next, the longer version with the lower ruffle.
I hope everyone is having a great day and has a Happy 4th of July tomorrow.
Organizing Sewing Patterns
June 5, 2013
Years ago I learned of this pattern storage method from a book I read called Confessions of an Organized Homemaker by Deniece Schofield. I have been using this method to store my patterns ever since as it is much more efficient than keeping them in the original small envelope.
To Store your patterns you will need:
- 10 x 13 envelopes
- Glue or Glue Sticks
- Bankers Box or Plastic Storage Box
Here is what you do:
- Remove all pattern pieces and instructions
- Cut envelope down one side and the bottom so it lays out flat
- Glue this cut pattern envelope to the front of large 10 x 13 envelope
- Place all pattern pieces inside large envelope
Now your pattern pieces fit neatly inside this larger envelope and do not get so squished up and wrinkled. It is also easier to read the pattern yardage and see the front view without having to flip it around. The patterns store perfectly inside of bankers boxes or I recently found this plastic storage box at Office Depot that has a lid and stores the patterns perfectly. The photo above at the top is of the plastic storage box. I have used the bankers boxes for years as you can tell by the wear on my box – it still has tape marks around it from when we moved 7 years ago and places where labels fell off.
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Chevron Fabric Projects
May 28, 2013
I recently came across some mini chevron cotton print fabrics at Hobby Lobby. They appealed to me because both prints had colors that I love in them. I bought the fabrics not sure exactly what I would make with them. Therefore, I always buy at least 3 yards of fabric to ensure I have enough. I learned this lesson a long time ago from a lady I worked with that told me you need to buy at least 3 yards so you have enough to make a garment. If I have extra left I usually cut it into 2 1/2 in. or 1 1/2 in. strips for other projects. I was thinking I would make skirts from both of these fabrics but different styles and then decided one would be a cute top with the right pattern. Here is what I ended up making:
The pattern I used for the skirt was one I have had for a couple of years, Butterick B4803. I had made the different versions in the pattern of the long length and decided I wanted a shorter skirt this time so I used the basic view E and measured from my waist to just above my knee to figure the length I would shorten the pattern to.
I love to sew skirts for summer. They are easy to make for one thing and sometimes a lot cooler and more comfortable than shorts or pants. This particular pattern has only 2 side seams and and elastic waist and a narrow lower hem. So easy to make. I will be making more this style and length.
As I got in my closet the other day and decided to wear the skirt for the second time I discovered this top that I had embroidered a couple of years ago. The embroidery design matched the skirt colors perfectly – how great is that? I did alter-upcycle the shirt some though to look more updated with the skirt. Note: I will do a future post on my upcycled t-shirt at another time.
The pattern I used for the top was one from my Bernina My Label software program. I used the basic tunic pattern, removed the darts, added a cap sleeve, a scoop neckline and decided to place elastic in the center front and back to gather it in some. I used 1/8 in. wide elastic approximately 7 in. long stretched across 10 in. of the center front and the center back.
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Sewing Pattern Review
May 23, 2013
I recently made this top after acquiring some new patterns from Hobby Lobby. They were on sale for .99 cents and I couldn’t resist buying a couple of new patterns. I really do not need any more patterns but it is hard to say no when they are such a bargain.
This pattern was pretty easy and had good instructions. If you have basic sewing skills and have made a few garment before you should be able to make this. You will need to know how to gather as the whole neckline is gathered.
The fabric I used to make my top was a lightweight broadcloth in a pretty shade of mint green. I have plans to make another one in purple and possibly put some embroidery on it. As you see from the photo of the actual pattern there are other options for making the top look different. The version I made this one was version E. I think I will make my next version C with the curved hemline.
The top also has an option for tucks at the lower hemline of the sleeves. The following photo is a close up of the sleeve tucks.
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Upcycled – Dress into Skirt
May 14, 2013
I made this dress many years ago. I haven’t worn it in a couple of years as a dress but liked the fabric – it is a cotton knit – and didn’t want to get rid of it. So, I decided to convert it into a skirt since I seem to wear more skirts than dresses. The following steps are listed below if you are interested in how to do this to one of your own dresses.
Step 1: Measure from your waist down to see how long you want to make your skirt – I wanted a long skirt so I decided on 30 inches.
Step 2: Place on a cutting table or surface and measure from bottom hem up to waist 30 inches plus 1 1/4 inches for the fold over for the waist band casing – My total was 31 1/4 inches.
Step 3: Mark with a chalk pencil all the way around 31 1/4 inches from bottom hem.
Step 4: Cut on the chalk line just made in step 3.
Step 5: Serge cut edge with your serger or zig zag on a regular machine to prevent fraying. Not totally necessary with knit fabric but I think it makes a more finished look on the raw edge.
Step 6: Turn down waist band WS(wrong sides) together 1 1/4 inches – pin and/or press.
Step 7: Sew using straight stitch close to serged edge, or approx. 1 1/8 inch from folded edge, leaving about a 1 to 2 inch opening for inserting elastic.
Step 8: Measure elastic around your waist and cut to size needed.
Step 9: Use a safety pin on one end of elastic to guide through casing.
Step 10: Stitch elastic together by overlapping 1/2 to 1 inch and zig zag over overlapped edge to secure.
Step 11: Pull elastic back into casing and evenly distribute fabric over elastic.
Step 12: Use a straight stitch to close up casing opening.
Step 13: (optional) Stitch in ditch, or side seams, of skirt seams to prevent elastic from rolling.
Here is my finished skirt-
I have also done this to another dress and made it into a short skirt just above the knee. This is a quick and easy update to your wardrobe.