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Pattern Hack: Colette Moneta

Though everyone in the sewing blogosphere has probably already sewn at least one Moneta, I must say this is a wonderful pattern! Not only does the new expanded size range fit without significant grading, the design is a great base of many modifications.

Moneta Full

My first Moneta was made from the original pattern and I’ve worn it extensively in the month since I completed it.

It is my latest Moneta that I want to share today. This Moneta hack has some pretty details that make it the perfect dress to transition into the cooler months whenever they see fit to show up here in South Carolina!

Cropped Front Moneta Cropped Back Monetta
The two main modifications were to add a contrasting waistband and to add a cowl neckline. The waistband was a necessary “design feature” due to the lack of stretch in my fabric. This knit is super thick and after cutting the bodice I realized the bodice was a bit short. My simple fix was to add a solid black two inch wide waistband. I first added the waistband to the bodice then shirred the bodice to the skirt.

100_1981

The second modification was to add a cowl neck. I used this tutorial from Sweet Verbena as a guideline and I think the final result is fabulous!

100_1979

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Pattern Review: Colette Patterns Myrtle Dress

As with the previous two Colette pattern releases, the Myrtle dress is designed for knits and ranges from XS to 3XL. I am so happy to finally be able to simply stitch up a pattern without having to do a significant amount of mind bending math and grading.

The pattern has a few lovely design features. Most notable is the wide draped neckline and shoulder tabs. My version was made with a lovely floral knit fabric I snagged from Girl Charlee during their 40% off sale over the July 4th holiday.

Myrtle Full

Things I liked about the pattern:

  • It comes in my size range!
  • The bodice draping was interesting. The front bodice piece is very long and actually drapes onto itself to become self lined.
  • Button tab shoulders

Myrtle Button

Things I struggled with and modified:

  • The waistband just did not work for me. The instructions state to fold down part of the bodice to create a casing but the result was NOT pretty. I ended up taking that out then simply zigzag stitching a piece of elastic to the seam where the bodice and skirt came together. The result was not perfect but looked better than my first attempt.
  • The bodice ended up being a bit short. Next time I will add 2 inches to the bodice length so the dress sits closer to my natural waist. I must note that I am pretty short waisted so for others the bodice may need to be lengthened even more.
  • Overall length of the skirt. I added about 4 inches which is a common modification for me on Colette patterns. I’m almost 5’8″ and don’t typically wear dresses above my knees. This is my personal preference and I want to be able to wear them to work.
  • I started with the pockets but thought they added to much bulk at the hips so later took them out and simply stitched up the sides.

Myrtle without sweater

Overall I really like how the dress came out. It is comfortable and can easily be dressed up or down depending upon what shoes and cardi I wear. There is definitely another Myrtle in my future!

Cabarita RIFF Pattern Review

Posted on

My vacation resulted in many completed garments but the Cabarita  is by far my favorite. The blouse is designed by Cake Patterns and was a quick sew. I had intentions of sewing this a week ago but ended up starting it just a few hours before I needed to wear it to the ballpark with family for the holiday fireworks and still had plenty of time to eat and socialize with the family.
Cabarita Collar

Highlights of this pattern include:

  • Thick pattern paper instead of tissue. Steph designs her patterns for tracing so they can be used over and over.
  • Minimal instructions. The RIFF line of patterns are intended for more advanced sewists and do NOT include pattern layout grids or much in the way of assembly illustrations and directions. However, the patterns are typically very straightforward so even a relatively new sewist like me had no problems getting this one completed in a few hours.
  • Large range of sizing and tracing lines that easily accommodate significant waist to hip ratios like mine (nearly 12 inches)
  • Reversible styling for stripes. This to me was the coolest feature of the pattern and though the collar version is actually the one Steph initially designed to wear in the front, I preferred the chevrons so wore this way instead. In addition to chevrons being a slimming look, they also showcased my latest vintage pin quite well!

Cabarita Chevron

Overall I am super pleased with this pattern and will definitely make it again. The one thing I will change for next time is to make the upper arms with more ease. I made the pattern in 47 bust but need probably another 1-2 inches of ease in the upper arm to prevent pulling at the shoulders. Upper arm tightness is often a problem for me so I should have automatically made this alteration. Even so, this version is still definitely wearable due to the thin knit fabric but would be uncomfortable in anything thicker. Other than that, the Cabarita pattern is perfect and coordinates wonderfully with my red Hummingbird skirt!

Patriotic Flower

Cake Patterns Hummingbird Peplum Top

I finally finished my Hummingbird peplum top two days late which is pretty good for me! This was the first time I had used a Cake pattern but it won’t be my last. I truly love the way Steph has developed the patterns…sheer genius!!!

Hbird Peplum Top

The patterns are printed on a thick coated paper which makes them easy to fold and the printing is color coded and clear. I purchased some tracing paper from Amazon and used that instead of cutting my pattern. Due to the large range of sizes and quality of the pattern, I should be able to make multiple garments over an extended period of time by simply tracing.

Hbird Pattern

I used my  late 1960s/early 1970s Kenmore with no problems. This machine does not have dozens of fancy stitches or the specific lightning bolt stitch Steph recommends but after reading the manual, I did find the stretch stitch which is used when sewing knits and had no issues. I also finished the seams with my serger for a sturdier garment.

Hbird Sewalong Stitches

The only issue I encountered while sewing this top was due to inexperience and not the pattern. I initially sewed the peplum with the notches in the wrong spot which made the peplum hang awkwardly. After spending a good half hour trying to rip the seams, I finally took my rotary cutter and sliced right along the seam and started over. The second attempt looks much better!

Hbird 2nd Attempt

The rest of the sewalong is devoted to the Hummingbird skirt which I am making in both red cotton twill and a 7oz denim. Hope to finish them both by Thursday so the garments will count as part of the Anna’s House total.

Cake Patterns Hummingbird Sewalong

As if I didn’t already have a lot going on, I have joined StephC’s Hummingbird 30 Minutes a Day Sewalong. It starts today and will run for the next two weeks. The patterns were shipped in colored envelopes and the color indicates which “House” you are in. The houses are named after specific types of hummingbirds and I am in the pink Anna house. To make it more fun, there is a contest to see which house produces and photographs the most garments. The winning house gets a $10 gift certificate to spend at Cake Patterns. I plan to do my part to insure the Anna house wins!


SewingCake

The first week is devoted to the peplum top, green view. I plan to make one top using this knit I bought from Fabric.com:

HBird Top

The second week is devoted to the straight skirt, orange view. I plan to make two versions of this skirt using fabrics I bought at Joann:

HBird Skirts

This is my first foray into Cake Patterns but based on the reviews it won’t be my last. In fact I already have StephC’s new Cabarita RIFF pattern and I will be trying that out over my July 4th vacation. I also have the Tiramisu dress and Bonny top patterns on order so I fully expect my summer to be filled with sewing Cake Patterns!

Bombshell Swimsuit Sewalong

I never thought I would be writing these words for all the internet to see but I am going to sew and show a swimsuit! Heather Lou from Closet Case Files is hosting a sewalong using her new Bombshell Swimsuit pattern. The sewalong starts tomorrow and runs for two weeks. There are three variations to the pattern and I plan to make the gathered bust version. My goal is to have a swimsuit that fits wonderfully and provides sexiness without showing too much skin.

Bombshell Sewalong

As a nod to the women such as Esther Williams and Marilyn Monroe that inspired the pattern, I have chosen a gold and black metallic fabric. The fabric shines and looks wet which reminds me of the glamorous studio shots from the 1950’s. Heather Lou claims to feel completely at ease in the suit and she looks great. Hopefully my  figure will fill out the suit as it is intended!

100_1268

In House Patterns Cool Cowl Tank Review

Posted on

I am delighted to share my review of a new (to me) pattern company called In House Patterns. The owner, Alexandra has an education in fashion and has worked in the fashion industry for many years. She started In House Patterns in the fall of 2011 and sells downloadable patterns on her website. Alexandra also has a blog that provides in depth details on how to properly fit garments and troubleshoot fit issues. I actually found her patterns by searching for advice  for neck gaping issues I was having with another pattern.

After reading her blog and perusing her pattern offerings, I chose the Cool Cowl Tank. I have sewn exactly one knit garment in my life so I figured I needed to get more practice and I had the right yardage of a pretty pink floral knit in my stash. The pattern has five pieces and gives explicit instructions for printing, pattern assembly, and blouse construction. I used my serger for most of the seams but the construction would allow for traditional straight stitching.

MMM'13 Day 18

I am a very slow sewer and still managed to finish this blouse from printing the pattern to ironing the finished product in about three hours. Of course I did have to grade the pattern up for my ample hips but the design of the blouse makes grading painless. In House Patterns are designed a for D cup but there are instructions for small bust adjustments on her blog. I cut the bust area exactly as intended and though it is a bit big for my C cup, the cowl drapes nicely. My husband even said this is the nicest thing I have ever made which makes this pattern even better! I definitely will purchase patterns from this independent company again. In fact, once June rolls around and my sewing budget is replenished, the Blossom blouse pattern is going to be my first purchase! Have you ever used In House Patterns and if so, what did you think?

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