Sewing Summer Tops
August 12, 2015
Recently I have taken a little break from blogging. One of the reasons being that I was gone for 10 days in July on a family vacation. I have also been focusing on some other things during my break from blogging and one of them is sewing some new things for summer. This summer I have made a couple of bathing suits, some lingerie (posts to come on that later) and some new summer tops. In addition to sewing I have been doing a lot of crocheting and developing some new patterns.
One of the reasons I love to sew is that I enjoy being able to make something the way I want it to fit. Another reason I prefer to sew my own clothing over buying it is because I can make something that will last a lot longer and wear better than many things you buy at the store. I have some shirts in my wardrobe that I made probably 8 or 10 years ago that are classic styles that I still wear and they are still in good condition. I don’t know if I have many articles of clothing that I have bought that I can say that about.
The above top is one I made about a month ago and have already wore it several times. It is perfect for our hot Texas weather in July and August. This top is made from a pattern I have had since 2010. The pattern is New Look 6965 and it has four or five different tops in the same pattern. I have made a couple of the other versions in the pattern in the past. This particular top features a tie shoulder strap that was suppose to be made with ribbon. I decided to use my crochet skills and crochet the straps since I had the perfect color of navy blue cotton yarn to match the fabric.
The next top I made after the navy one was this light blue floral print button down shirt with a collar. It is hard to see the tiny floral print on the fabric in the lighting I was in in the above photos. I think I have had the fabric for four or five years and the pattern is very old – a classic from my pattern stash McCalls 2094 from 1999. I like the style of this top with the front and back darts and the button front. I have a couple of pairs of shorts and a couple of skirts it will go with so lots of options for wearing this shirt. I even discovered a crochet headband I made years ago that is the same color blue.
The third top I made was this purple print one. This is another fabric I have had in my stash for years. This top was made using a newer pattern that I purchased on sale at Hancocks a few weeks ago. The pattern is McCalls 6967 and included in the pattern with this cute little top is a couple of dresses and a skirt. This was a really simple pattern to sew and I will probably go through my stash and make another one – it only takes one yard of fabric and a couple of hours to make this top.
The last top I recently finished sewing was this simple knit twisted shoulder top. This pattern was actually my own creation using a pattern from My Label pattern software and figuring out how to do the twisted shoulder. The whole top is made with a serger and super simple. In my etsy shop I offer a tutorial on how to make a top like this using an old t shirt. This particular one I actually used fabric and a pattern drafted to my measurements.
The other thing I finished in the past week was this crochet shrug – which I thought looked good with my twisted tank top and a skirt that I made a few years ago. The shrug is one I started a year ago and put it aside to work on other things. I decided it was time to get it finished and completed it. I love the way it turned out and wonder why I waited to long to get it done. This shrug is crocheted using Patons Glam yarn and is black and glitter sliver. The pattern features a ripple and pretty scalloped sleeve. I will be offering the pattern in my etsy shop very soon as well as on craftsy and ravelry.
School is starting here soon for my boys and we have been busy with the back to school yearly things that go with that. Even though there is another month or more left of summer it kind of feels like summer is ending once the kids start school – I am hoping that means the heat will end as well but I have a feeling it will be another month or more before that happens.
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and staying cool.
Sewing Ruched Front Top
September 4, 2014
The new ruched front tops I recently made are so simple to sew and super comfortable to wear, too. I decided to make these after seeing some tops like this somewhere and I liked the look. I didn’t even have to go and buy another pattern, thankfully, since I have quite a few already.
The red top in the photo just above is the first one I made. I bought this fabric on clearance and I decided to use something that wasn’t real expensive in case the top didn’t turn out. Well, it did turn out and I have already wore it several times. I am glad the clearance fabric is soft and washes well.
After making the light red color one in a knit fabric I decided to make one in a cotton fabric. I love good quality cotton fabrics and I think some of the cottons I find at quilt shops make great fabrics for clothes and bags, too.
I have plenty of cotton fabric in my stash and I had this one in a pretty summer looking floral. I have had it for a couple of years as I remember I made a skirt with some of it and a bag, too, a couple of years ago – both of them I still have and wear-use. I really like how this one turned out bright and colorful and I have a couple of pairs of shorts to wear with it.
Both versions of this top turned out well. In my opinion though the knit one has a better drape and look to it for this type of design.
How To Make a Ruched Front:
To make a top like this you just need to know how to sew and to gather fabric. You will need a two piece pattern for a top with a front and back and a small cap sleeve or even a sleeveless top. Below are some photos on how to create the ruched front.
I used a pattern for a cap sleeve top that I have designed from the Bernina My Label program I own. I recommend using pattern drafting material – its kind of like interfacing – and tracing your top front pattern piece so you don’t ruin your actual pattern. (mine is kind of wrinkled in the photo from use and also from a cat who likes to sit on it) You will just need one side of the front traced. Then draw lines which start at the center front and extend almost to the side edge. You can see in my photo above I have 6 slash lines. Cut these lines and then spread them apart to open the center front – this is the part that will be gathered. I used some tape to hold the slashes about 1 to 2 inches apart. I then retraced the pattern piece.
Above is the photo of my cut out pattern piece and the marked areas for where I gathered the fabric. To do this I just ran two long basting stitches on each side of the front piece and then pulled them up to gather until the lower part of the top seemed straight. I then placed the fronts right sides together and sewed them. You may want to sew an extra row of stitching to hold the gathers in place. I then just finished the top according to the pattern. Super fun and simple to sew.
What projects are you currently working on? Click on Leave a Reply and tell me about them.
Have a great day!
Easy Sewing Pattern For Tops
July 23, 2014
One of my favorite sewing pattern brands are Kwik Sew patterns. I realize they are a bit more expensive than some other pattern companies but I don’t mind paying extra for a stylish pattern that fits well and has excellent directions.
The other nice thing about their patterns is they are often classic styles. They also come printed on nice heavy paper, not that thin tissue paper that tears easily. All sizes are included in the pattern and I have found that if you want to sew something for yourself and then use the same pattern for someone that is a different size you can easily use this thin, see through, pattern tracing fabric – its kind of like interfacing and is usually sold near the interfacing – to trace multiple sizes. I have also used quilters grid before to trace patterns since you can see through it.
One of my favorite Kwik Sew patterns that I bought years ago and have made many times in various fabrics and prints is pattern number 3632. This pattern is for a top or dress that has an elastic casing at the neckline and sleeve cap to gather those areas in and create and cute and flattering top.
This white knit top above is one I made in the past month. It was super quick and easy to sew. There are only 2 pattern pieces and then you have to sew the casing for your elastic at the neck and arm area, hem the bottom and its finished.
The blue, yellow and white chevron print top above is also made using the same pattern but with a cotton fabric. The pattern is very versatile and I have used various types of fabrics for it. I love how easy it is to make one of these tops – like in a couple hours or less. I have also used stitches other than a straight stitch to sew the topstitched area – on these two tops I used a narrow zigzag stitch for the casings and the hems.
This particular pattern would be a great project for someone learning to sew. The pattern is really easy to read and to sew. I also noticed that Hobby Lobby is now carrying some of the Kwik Sew patterns as well as Joann and Hancocks. In the past in my area I could only buy them at Hancocks.
What types of sewing projects do you like to do?
Have a great day!
Sewing Fleece Tops
January 21, 2014
Sewing is something I love to do. I have been sewing since I was in 7th grade. I love to create things with fabric and I make a lot of my own clothing.
Some of my favorite patterns to use are Kwik Sew patterns. They are a little more expensive than other brands but they are written very well and they always fit good, at least for me.
This Kwik Sew pattern is one of my favorites and very, very easy to make. The pattern is #2992 and there are three different versions of this top. All three have the same general look but the necklines can be varied. You can choose to sew a tradition round neckline , which is in the above photo, a boat neckline or a funnel neck. So far I have only made the round and the funnel neck and not the boat neck top. The pattern recommends using polar fleece, berber fleece, or heavy fleece to make this top. All of mine are made using anti-pill polar fleece.
The turquoise top (above) is one I made several years ago and still love to wear. I used my embroidery machine to embroidery a design on the lower front and back sides and on the sleeves.
This top has a dolman sleeve so there is no separate sleeve to sew in. This makes sewing go a lot faster – especially if you have a serger.
The light blue top above is the funnel neckline. I made this one a couple of years ago – it is hard to see the neck well since I have a scarf on. I like to wear this top on cold days because it keeps your neck warm, especially with the added scarf layer.
The navy blue top above is the one I recently made. I also embroidered a pretty cross and angel design on the front of this one. Since these tops are sort of basic I like to add my own embroidery designs to them.
Currently I have another pair of leggings cut out to sew and a knit cardigan jacket. I am hoping to get those finished before February. What sewing projects are you currently working on? Click on Leave a Reply and let me know.
Have a great day!
Sewing Lightweight Tops
September 3, 2013
I made these two tops recently from the same pattern. The pattern I used was Simplicity 2594. There are 6 different views in this pattern.
The tops were pretty easy to sew. They have a lined yoke area that I thought would be difficult to sew but it turned out to be pretty simple. There is a little topstitching involved so it is helpful to have an edge stitch foot for that.
I made the mint green one above first and really like how it turned out. I used a basic broadcloth fabric and it was easy to sew on. I have already worn this top many times. This top has a v neck front and a gathered back. There are also a few pleats on the front on each shoulder area. This was view E in the pattern.
The second one I made was this purple one in the above photos. I used the same pattern but made a different view – view B – with the draped cowl neckline. This top is okay. I don’t like how it tuned out as well as the mint green one. I used broadcloth fabric again because it was something I had in my stash and I think a rayon or silky poly fabric would have been a better fabric choice. Even after sewing over 20 years I still make things that don’t always turn out as planned. I have wore this top a couple of times. I am also thinking that I do not care for how the drape of the cowl neck looks on me. I will be sticking with the v neck option or the scoop neckline in the future.
What sewing projects have you been working on lately? Leave me a Reply and let me know.
Have a great day!