Set sail

Here is the second set of prints that I sewed up the samples for Fabric Anthropology.  This one relates to Helga in the Vikings series, and is a phrase she said in show.

These fabrics are French Terry.  A note about printing colors.  The brushed poly is a synthetic, and the colors are closer the print file colors with the blues/grays.  If you want it more true to the file color, then I would order brushed poly (she has a nice thick BP, that I would totally recommend).  The FT is a cotton mixed with spandex, so it doesn’t take the dye as well.  It’s still looks great but it veers more towards lavender and purple with the browns.  I make sure I color correct my pictures, so it is as close to the real colors as possible.

Now…onto my conundrum with these fabrics.  First off, I didn’t want to buy, nor did I have time to shop for, fabric for this top.  I have been crazy busy at work, so it just wasn’t going to happen.  I had to use coordinates in my stash (which really shouldn’t be a problem, let’s be honest!).  I didn’t have any fabric that would match it in the weight of a French terry, so I used a nice thick cotton lycra in dark brown.

Next, I didn’t want to make a plain shirt with the panel on the front, the coordinate on the back and sleeves.  Usually when I sew up strike offs I want to make something unique and one of a kind.  They tend to get more views, as people wonder what pattern was used and take more time to look at the details.  I need to get an affiliate link for FA, so I can see if it is really generating sales for her.  People don’t always comment or like the sales pitch posts, so some proof of engagement would be nice (plus, did I say I was losing my job at the end of this year? 😉 ).

This pattern was based off the Wardrobe by Me Builder T-shirt.  I used used some of the pieces from the pattern and others I traced off, color blocked or added pieces.  The pieces I added were the V-neck with grommets, overlays and side placket pieces.

I made some adjustments along the way.  I added some length to the bottom of the shirt and cut a longer V-neck.  I was going to have a modesty panel in there, but decided against it.  The lacing brings it in enough, and who am I kidding…I like cleavage!

I wanted to use the panel in a different way, so the overlay idea came to me while browsing through Pinterest.  It is basically a mash up of several different ideas that I saw.  I like to save pictures with interesting details that I can pull out for these fun sews.

I think this one worked out pretty well!

The grommets and eyelets are a fun add to the pattern.  I like adding hardware…makes garments look a bit more professional.  You need to make sure you have the right setting tools, though.  If you don’t then they don’t go in correctly.  I set my grommets on the neckline at 1″ apart.  I purposely made it go higher than the lacing would go, just for the added detail.

I waffled a bit on the side split.  I was going to go for a laced up side and use grommets or eyelets.  I had to use eyelets, as I didn’t have enough grommets (they have a cleaner backside, so I err on the side of grommets). Then, did I want a godet underneath or leave it open?  Well, once I got it on, it kind of stuck out at the side when worn and I didn’t like how the eyelets looked, since I didn’t have enough silver.

I ripped it out and added a simple placket to the side at the split.  It works, it lays flat, and I got done around 1:30 am, so that was as good as it was going to get!

The arms were pieced together to try to get maximum usage out of the fabric.  I thought it looked too plain with just the piecing, so I added an overlay with the raw edges showing and then some nice metal buttons I ordered from Pacific Trimmings.  I only put three on each side, as I figured they could get annoying if I was sitting at a computer wearing it.

So, there you have it…a fun Vikings themed top that is pretty dang fun to wear!  I did my own braids, since I wear my hair with braids in it pretty often.  I also pulled some swords off the wall for the photo shoot.  I was around 0 degrees Fahrenheit here.  Just a little chilly! 😉

The pre-order is from February 14 – March 3rd.  Go check it out if you are a Vikings fan.  Even if you aren’t…the prints are pretty cool on their own.  This is paired up with a DinoTrux round, too, so I guess little kids love those characters.  If you have a little one, that is a fan, you can do a “one for you…one for me!” buying plan!

Another sweater

One of the reasons why I never think I can go on a RTW buying fast is that it is cold here, and you need sweaters.  I don’t knit sweaters.  I can do a little loom knitting, but that is the extent of my prowess with yarn.

Luckily, you can find sweater knits!  This is a sweater knit from Joann’s that is nice and thick.  Most sweater knits I have come across are actually pretty thin, so they aren’t very warm.  This has a nice weight to it.

I made another Rulo from George + Ginger patterns.  I modified for the skinny arm again, and I had to do some creative cutting.  “Creative” being code word for against the grain.  Dolmans are notoriously wide to cut and this is a wide dolman top.

I didn’t have enough yardage to get a full front and back out of it on the fold.  I needed to go against the grain and cut two pieces for the back.  You can see the grain is different for the front and back.

It’s all good…it still looks nice and since it isn’t tight, the grain doesn’t matter.  We’ll see if I experience any offset grain features in the future, though.  When I did the back, I serged the edges (sweaters fray), then attached together with the sewing machine.  I then topstitched down the seam on either side.  I figured a serged seam would be bulky.  Personal preference.

The neckband is fairly wide, so if you want a smaller neckline, move it in.  It tends to get wider due to the nature of sweater knits.  You may need to stabilize it a bit depending on your fabric.  I didn’t with this one, but I could also easily wear this off one shoulder.

My pants here are my straight leg leggings.  I made the bottoms a little wider and not as long as some that I have made recently.  This is a sueded scuba knit from Joann’s.  This is a pretty comfy outfit!  I was meeting my girlfriends after work on a Friday, so this went pretty well from casual Friday to the brewery.

Flouncey Tunic Tutorial

I wanted to make a nice neutral tunic top, so of course, I went over the top with the details.  As I was cutting it out I was wondering if I should have made a different neckline, but I really like how cozy this is with the funnel cowl on it.

Details:

Pattern used for this pattern hack:  Wardrobe by Me Basic Builder Shirt, boat neckline.

Fabric is the Dark Shadow color of Bamboo lycra jersey from Nature’s Fabrics.

Added to the pattern (I did a size 14):

How to make:

The additional pieces that need to be cut are the flounce, band and cowl.  The measurements I used for the band and cowl are noted above and the flounce pattern piece is linked.  There is a 1″ overlap on the two pages for the flounce.

Steps:

  1.  Cut the circle flounces and connect them together on one end.

2.  Lay the front pieces down with right sides out.  Put the flounces against the edges and make sure not to stretch them out.  I also made sure once they were laid out that they matched around the front and back neckline.  They did.  Next, you sandwich the flounces between the shirt fronts, right sides together and sew up to the edge.

3.  Sew the shoulders together.

4.  Place the flounce around the neckline.  You might have to let the seam out a little bit where the sewing ended on the neckline to get it to lay flat.

5. Sew up the long seam on the cowl and make sure the ending edge has the seam locked so it won’t come undone.  Now, add this to the neckline, with the seam on the outside.  This will be rolled down, so if you have the seam on the inside, it will show.  Sew up the neckline seam with the cowl and flounce attached.

6.  Sew the arms on, sew up the side seam and hem the sleeves.

 

7.  Sew up the side seam of the bottom band.  Fold in half and mark the 1/4 points.  Place the flounce bottom edges against the hemline and then attach the band, placing the 1/4 marks at the side seams, mid front and back.  Sew up the seam.

All done!

AC III hoodie

The boy is one of those lucky kids who has a December birthday (I am, as well), so he gets many gifts and being a teen it is harder and harder to figure out what to get him other than an Xbox giftcard.

I ran across this book at Barnes and Noble, so I got that for him and then decided he would get an awesome AC III inspired hoodie to go with it.

So…

I started looking at Pinterest and all the cool AC inspired hoodies that are pinned over there.  I didn’t want one that was too overt with tails and epaulets and all.  I decided to use the Herbert Hoodie by Wardrobe by Me for the base.  This is a looser fitting hoodie, so all the seaming in the back shouldn’t be annoying.

I also made my very first You Tube video for the project, so if you want to hear my voice and see my sewing room, check it out.  I took the video about 5 times before I got a version I liked.  I finally had to lock the cat out of my room since he figured it was petting time and was being annoying. 😉

This is all the pieces cut out of bamboo fleece from Nature’s Fabrics.

I didn’t buy enough of the blue…only a half yard…so a few things are cut across the grain.  I would have cut the back “A” on the fold if I had purchased a yard.  It was taller than 18″.

The back required a lot of basting stitches before serging.  When sewing the curves and the angles you have to be pretty precise, so just taking it to the serger and going for it is just not recommended.

How I approached these seams, was putting them next to each other prior to pinning and marking where they met up with some chalk.  This just takes the place of putting notches in the fabric, and it really helped to line up the curves correctly.

The points in the fabric were done similar to doing  a V-neck.  You clip the inside point to the seam allowance and then sew each side of the triangle point separately to the edge right up to the clipped line.  You don’t sew right up to the edge of the point, but leave a seam allowance width.

After I sewed the basting stitches I went over them with the serger.  There were a few places were the serger messed up, so I had to seam rip in a few places.  I then ironed down all the seams and top-stitched.

I drew the thunderbird that matches the hood design for the character.  Let’s just ignore the fact that I forgot to mirror it and it is facing the wrong direction.   Story of my life.  I need to put a sticker that says “Did you mirror??” on my machine where I load the mat.

The AC logo is actually in pieces since I was just using what I had for vinyl.  I think I need to buy more vinyl.

The hood is put together by first attaching the triangles, and then attaching the sides.  I put some interfacing at the point, and then did a long straight stitch seam on either side of the point before serging the rest of the seam.  Clip the point, turn right sides out, and then attach to the hood body.

The rest of the creation was pretty standard.

  • Sew the shoulders together, matching up to the blue/cream seam separations.
  • Attach the hood, with about a 1.5″ overlap.
  • Attach the arms
  • Sew the side seams
  • Sew up the sides of the wrist and waist bands, fold over and attach to the ends of the arms and at the body waist.

Done!

Sorry I didn’t get a lot of pictures in making this thing, but keep in mind that I couldn’t take pictures of Everything or it would have taken me forever and a day.  When I was putting the back together I got in a groove and forgot to get pictures.  I didn’t have a lot of time since I waited until the last minute to get this done (again).  The main points in making this, is that you need to baste stitch, serge, then topstitch those seams.  Otherwise, it will be a hot mess inside.

Now I just need to wrap it up for his birthday tomorrow!  I’ll edit this post with pictures of him wearing it when I get pictures. 🙂

Edit: Worn pics…he loved it! 🙂

Pink and black

I love how this turned out!  I am a big fan of pink and black together, so when I got this pink watercolor french terry to sew up I knew what I wanted to make.

This is the pre-order from Fabric Anthropology that closes on November 15.  I paired it with a ponte I got at Joann’s and the top is bamboo lycra from Nature’s Fabrics.

I used the Domi sweatpants from Sofilantjes for the bottoms.  I only had a yard of the pink, so I had to block it up a bit for her height.  I used pretty much every bit of the pink between the top and the scrappy stripes.  I cut long strips 2″ wide and sewed them all together, then topstitched.  Next, I cut out the pattern pieces.  This was a lot easier than cutting up the pattern pieces and doing the strips that way.

I was going for a fun dancey-vibe with the pants with the moto-like look at the knee area, a zippered pocket and a htv design.

I added one of my drawings on with HTV.  The cut file and jpg is in the Google drive folder linked on my sidebar.

The top has a crossover in the front.  I actually ran out of the band length, so it kind of stops in the middle underneath.  Luckily no one can see it. 🙂  When putting together this pattern, you have to partially attach the band to the piece that goes on top, sew up the side seams and then finish attaching the band.  I first attached it all with a zigzag stitch, serged, then topstiched it.   The cuffs on the shirt fold over, kind of like a petal sleeve.  I didn’t really get a good shot of them.

Now…I need to draft a really fun jacket…hopefully it turns out. 🙂

Anti-heroes

The boy doesn’t get much sewing done for himself lately, since he basically just wears t-shirts, a hoodie, and athletic pants.  Not super exciting for mama to sew.

When this new pre-order round came up at Fabric Anthropology, I knew he would love to get Venom sewed up for him!  This pre-order is full of anti-heroes (Venom, Deadpool, Spawn, Raven and Ash from The Evil Dead), along with some great coordinates and watercolor solids.

I have a few more prints to sew up from this round.  I just need my sewing room back, as it is currently occupied for a few days as a guest room.

I used the Bram Raglan by Wardrobe by Me, and I lengthened the arms a little bit, which I didn’t need to do.  It is PLENTY long on him.  He said it was fine, though.

I added the slash marks on the one arm, just to add a little something fun to the shirt.  I just cut the black to size and sewed some long enclosed slashes to the red fabric underneath.  I opened them up with a scissors (carefully) and then trimmed off the excess red fabric underneath.

I also color blocked the bottom.

The color of the print does veer more towards purple.  The watercolor coordinating fabric is more grey by itself (not sure why it looks so purple here), but together with this print I think brings out the purple aspects to it.  They look more grey/black on the print file, and they may print that way on brushed poly and French terry.  Natural fibers tend to take color differently.  This is cotton lycra, so a higher natural fiber content.  If you join the group you will see them sewn up by others.

The pre-order is open until November 10!

 

Wanderer

I love it when a plan comes together!  I have been drawn towards greens and love Lord of the Rings prints.  Plus it kind of makes my hair look super bright!

The cardigan here is made from Leaf Modal Spandex Jersey from Nature’s Fabrics. Disclosure: They sent me this fabric for free, but all opinions are my own.

I wanted to try one of their fabrics that I hadn’t purchased previously, but also one that had a nice drape to it.  The modal was recommended to me, and it worked really nicely for the cardigan.  There is a lot of fabric in the skirt part and it needs to have a nice fall to it.  The modal isn’t super thick, so I wouldn’t say this is a warm fabric.  As a layer with my top it worked really well, though.  It would be nice for fall and spring cardigans…it was in the 30’s for these pictures, so not quite the right temps!

Movement!

The cardigan is my own pattern draft that I made last year.  I love the skirt part and it is fun to wear!

The top is a modified Sneha from Wardrobe by Me and the leggings are my own draft.

The Lord of the Ring Fabrics are from Affordable Fabrics & More.  I purchased these on the pre-order, but I think she will be opening up for retail soon.

If you are looking for some really nice solids, I would recommend Nature’s Fabrics.  I love the bamboo spandex jersey, which I used for the rest of the top.  It is SUPER comfy to wear, and also has a nice drape.  Not quite as good as the modal, but still nice.

Now, I have some strikes in the washing machine and not much time to sew.  Everything comes in waves, I swear!

A quick tunic dress

I made this dress before going to a concert a few weeks ago.  It was Apocalyptica plays Metallica, and we took the younguns’ with us.  It was a nice smallish concert hall, and four cellos playing rock is always interesting!  It was a late night, though, so we payed for it on Monday morning.  It was also a suuuuper busy weekend again, and I didn’t have a lot of time to make something.

Then, I wore it for our family pictures and then to work today!

I had purchased some bamboo spandex/jersey from Nature’s Fabrics which is a nice weight and very comfy.  The inside is a little bit brushed.  This color is called “Forest“.  I love it, so I went online I bought more this week (someone take my credit card away!).

I decided to make a Sneha tunic.  The modifications I made were 2″ longer on the skirt, sleeveless and I added a 24″ long cowl to the neckline.  I did a simple rectangle.

This will be good to wear with either tights or leggings and it can transition from summer to winter as a layering piece.

I wore it with some leggings I made a few years back and my cardigan from last fall.

A nice comfy outfit, where I could match up pieces made at different times.  I think I am getting this wardrobe thing down.  I tend to just make my favorite colors, so then I have other things that match it well.

Gathered cowl top

I ordered this bamboo jersey fabric from Nature’s Fabric, and expected it to be more of a true red.  It is a bit of a rusty red (more rusty than I could get the color to show here), so it wasn’t going to work for what I initially intended.  Instead, I though I would make myself a comfy fall tunic/dress.

By the way, I do love the feel of the bamboo jerseys I have ordered from them.  Such a comfy fabric.

The base of the dress is the Sneha tunic from Wardrobe by Me.  I wanted it to have two skirts, which works well with this pattern.  The bodice pattern piece is separate from the skirt pattern piece since there are multiple skirt options for this pattern.

I traced the full skirt piece out and recut one side to have an angle.  I then cut two skirts, and serged them to the bodice so each fabric had the lower edge on each side.  The fabric underneath is a thin black jersey.

Next, I added a cowl with the thin jersey.  These were the basic measurements for it…you cut two of them and serge together at the side seams.  I left the edge unhemmed.

Originally, I was just going to leave it, but it proved to be a bit sloppy.  I decided to gather it at the side seams, so it would lay at the shoulder and then just waterfall down.  You need a pretty thin and drapey knit in order for this to work right.

The jacket I am wearing here, is the Blixen Blazer that I made last spring.  It is such a nice, solid piece.  I am wearing leggings I purchased from CAbi several years ago, but I want to make another pair.  They don’t fit the best at the waist and tend to pull down.  I have to continually pull them up, so I think a me-made replacement is on the list.

The list of “to makes” is pretty long right now, so not sure when I will get to it.  Hopefully soonish!

Pattern hack – zipped cowl top

Is that a good name for it?  Not sure what to call this style.

Okay, what we have here is a tutorial for a pattern hack to get this style of top:

Instructions to hack a pattern

In order to do this hack, you need a basic long sleeve t-shirt top pattern that fits.  I used the Wardrobe by Me Basic T-shirt in a size larger than I would fit per the measurements.  I wanted it looser fitting.  I added the band at the bottom, the cowl and a facing, but otherwise, the bones of this top is just a basic long-sleeved t-shirt top.

Need –

  • Basic t-shirt pattern
  • 1.5 yards of fabric (roughly)
  • Interfacing
  • 16″ or 18″ zipper
  • Optional: Wondertape (for placing zipper)

Take out your front, back and sleeve shirt patterns, and trace a copy of them.  Figure out where it would hit just under your breasts, and mark that spot on your pattern piece.  Now make a gradual curve down to the side.  I just draw this in with a pencil first and then cut.

The diagram above shows what I did for the front and back pieces.  Make sure the cuts meet up on the sides.  The bottom band for my shirt ended up being 6″ x 18″ on the fold (both top and sides).

This next diagram shows how I used the front piece that I had cut from the pattern to draft two new pieces.

The cowl I measured the length of the neck opening on the pattern pieces (subtracting the seam allowance at the shoulder), and used that length for the length of the piece.  The width is 7.5″ wide, which can be cut on the fold OR you can use two different fabrics for the inside and outside (what I have done).

These are the majority of the pattern pieces (just missing a piece for the bottom band and front facings).

These are all the pieces cut out except the front facings.  I forgot to do those until I got to that part of construction.  I just used 2″ into each side of the front pieces for the facing pieces.  The facing is just giving you some protection from chaffing from the zipper.

Construction:

  • Sew the shoulder seams together (I sewed the bottom on the back piece first, but you can wait on that if you want).

  • If you have an inside and outside of the cowl piece, you need to sew them together along the long edge.
  • Attach the cowl to the neckline along one edge right sides together.  The inside of the cowl is going to be the one showing, so select the outside part to attach first.

  • Next add the facings to the inside edge of the cowl.  Don’t use a serger for this, just zigzag them on.

  • Add interfacing along the edges.  My interfacing was 1.5″ wide.  If you have a seam for the cowl, just go up to that seam and not over it.  I ended up cutting the interfacing there, since it affects how the seam folds over.

  • Take your zipper, and figure out where it will hit at the neckline and mark this spot.  This helps to make sure your zipper does not get skewed and offset when stitching up.

  • Place the marking at the neckline and sandwich it between the inside/outside cowl, front piece and front facing.  Clip in place, and you can check to make sure the zipper will match when zipping it up by turning it carefully to the outside and zipping up. Straight stitch the zipper.  If you want to make sure it won’t shift, use Wondertape to hold in place.  Just make sure you are placing the tape inside the seam allowance so it won’t show once stitched up.

  • Top-stitch the zipper seams.

  • Attach the inside edge of the cowl to the neckline.  You can turn the edge under, pin and top-stitch or do the burrito method (enclosing the body pieces in the cowl), leaving an opening to pull everything through to the outside.  I did the burrito method, and then still top-stitched.  It just allowed me to not have to pin as much.

  • Top-stitch the top edge of the cowl (if desired), and stitch down the front facing pieces.

  • Now we are going to attach the bottom front to the top.  I didn’t want the extra zipper teeth at the bottom to be irritating when worn, so first I stitched across the zipper.  Next, I cut off the excess zipper and pulled the teeth apart up to the stitching.  Lastly I pulled the excess teeth off with a small pliers.  When stitching the bottom to the top, I wanted to make sure it held together, so I just did a quick basting stitch to the bottom of the zipper to keep them together.
  • Mark the middle on the top and bottom pieces.  Clip them together and stitch for both the front and back.  I first stitched the front pieces on the sewing machine and then serged.  I just wanted to make sure my serger wouldn’t hit the zipper, because that causes broken needles flying to your eyeballs.

  • Top-stitch the seams, if desired (I did).
  • Attach the arms.  I color blocked them at the 3/4 sleeve line and added a few inches of extra length.
  • Sew up the side seams, matching the curves at the side, and hem the arms.

  • Sew the edges of the bottom band together.  Mark it in 1/4’s for the sides, middle front and middle back.

  • Mark the middle front and middle back on the bottom of the body pieces, and match them up on the band.  Sew the band on the shirt.

  • All done!

Let me know if anything is unclear in the tutorial.  I didn’t detail everything, as if you have a basic pattern, you should have instructions for some of it already.

The fabrics I used here are a brushed poly stripe from Fabric Anthropology, a black fleece backed poly and a quilted faux leather from Joann’s.

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