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Vogue 1486 Crop Top Muslin

April 9th, 2021 No comments

Most of the reviews I’ve seen for this pattern are for the skirt. I don’t know; it just seems overdone to me.

But I loved the idea of that top! Could it be my dream top — like a t-shirt, but with a more flair, and made out of linen?

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Another Sweatshirt Mash-Up

January 29th, 2021 No comments

This one’s a frankenpattern involving a Jalie collar and the tunic body from Vogue 8854, which I’ve previously also mashed-up with the Talvikki top.

Just pretend it’s dancing! The angle’s all wrong,
but the tunic’s just fine, really!

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Teddy Toaster

December 13th, 2020 No comments

My second  Sew House Seven Toaster I looks as if it had been made out of teddy bear fur — if Teddy were made of upholstery material.

I wasn’t sure how that would work, but it’s actually turned out, well, Teddy-rific!

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Categories: 2020, Covid, Tops Tags:

Toaster Sweater 1

November 1st, 2020 No comments

Count me as one of those who looked at this pattern and who said “um, noooo, never”. Well, never has arrived . . . and it’s pretty cool. Or warm. Or cozy and just right . . .

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Talvikki Mash-Up

October 5th, 2020 4 comments

I bought the Named Talvikki pattern strictly for the neckline, because I didn’t want to draft it myself. This was just as well, since the neckline was the only part of the pattern that came close to fitting me. But ohhh, what a neckline! For someone like me, who wants to live in sweatshirts, but hates the standard styles, this collar makes all the difference.

The bottom line is that Named patterns are not made for smallish, 5’2″/157cm people. Nothing — other than the neck/collar — about this pattern worked for vertically-challenged me. Since the collar is stunning, though, I simply franken-patterned the rest, combining it with Vogue 8854, from which I’d made a batch of sweatshirts many years ago.

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Categories: 2020, Covid, Tops Tags:

V1642 Sweatshirting Done Differently

September 14th, 2020 No comments

It makes very little sense, even in ordinary times, for me to wear anything other than sweatshirts at home. I live with a herd of cats, all of whom have highly functional claws, and with whom I interact all the time. Sweatshirts can take that kind of heat.  But sweatshirts are b-o-r-i-n-g.

When I saw this pattern, though, I was chuffed.

It didn’t hurt a bit when I went out to buy it, eons ago, and one of my favorite people at my local store asked me if I’d seen this new release — “I saw that, and I knew it was YOU!” he said. He was so right!

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Kwik Sew 3463: Skinny Pocket Version

March 17th, 2014 No comments

This post marks the beginning of “historic” posts from 2014, before I took a long break from blogging:

Once I’d made one tunic, I made another and then another, each time varying the pockets and and the neck bands.

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This is the second of four:  Pink isn’t really my thing, but I can’t seem to resist stripes, and this was a lovely, soft, cotton knit.

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The pockets, in this case, are skinny and vertical, just wide enough to put a hand into, and they’re set perpendicular to the main stripes.  I didn’t want my stitches to conflict with the stripes on the fabric, so I carefully attached the pockets by sewing along one of the skinny white stripes.

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That gave the pocket attachment a much more deliberate look, and also made the white topstitching look more organic than it would have if run across the pink stretch.

Instead of making a neck band, I faced the neck edge with a strip of fabric, cut crosswise and then turned under.

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I didn’t have a coverstitch machine when I made this, and you can see that I had some trouble making consistently-sized stitches on the second (lower) row.  Stitching near the bulk of the seamline is much more consistent.

The seamline between the facing and the tunic is to the right in the photo below; that strip is the facing, turned inside.  I like this finish better than simply turning the edge of the garment in and stitching; the facing strip gives a little more substance, and a more finished look.

Because I didn’t have the extra width of the band called for by the pattern, my neckline is larger and lower than the one designed by Kwik Sew.  Next time, I’d alter the pattern so that mine doesn’t turn out this wide.

The Kwik Sew pattern is excellent; I did change up the shape of the skirt to make it flare in an “A” shape.   Construction is really simple .  .  .

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.  .  .  but skinny-stripe matching less so.  I was really annoyed that these weren’t perfect, but perfection is hard to find!

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I hope this isn’t one of the huge number of Kwik Sew patterns Big Pattern kills — it’s fun and versatile, and a great stepping stone for playing around with various decorative elements.

See different versions of this pattern:

Color-Blocked Tunic with Hidden Pocket

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Color-Blocked Tunic with Hidden Pocket

February 27th, 2014 2 comments

(This is a “catch-up” post from long before now.)

The past few year has just evaporated for me, with lots and lots going on that kept me far from my sewing room.  I’m looking forward to spending a lot more time there in the future than I have lately.

But first, I have a backlog of posts that have yet to make it to the interwebs.  First up, the Parade of Tunics. In my new-found devotion to being comfortable at all costs, I adapted this Kwik Sew pattern:

An elongated tunic like this just doesn’t do anything for me, so I flared the skirt, and then worked up a muslin. I’m in love with the idea of wearing PJs all the time, and apparently want to be able to go out so clad, too.  My plan was to make a tried-and-true pattern I could use for all seasons, with variations.

The muslin has a geometric panel, and (my favorite feature) a hidden pocket:

Miss Bedelia, nude as she is under the tunic, is not the best model for knits, since her wire frame protrudes distractingly, but I’m loving using her, and she’s the only dummy I have at the moment who is my size.

To make the panel, I traced the pattern, cut, slashed, and added seam allowances as required.  Easy-peasy, really.  I added an invisible zipper to the seam, with access to the hidden pocket:

I used an embroidered twill for the pocket.  It’s covered in bees, which is amusing, but the fabric is really too stiff to be discreet, so it’s a bit bulkier than it should be.

Hey, this was a muslin, so why not?  I’m not crazy about this particular tunic, but it’s still a lot of fun to wear, and if a tee shirt can’t be fun, what good is it?

The solid contrasting colors don’t send me, but this was also an exercise in stash-busting, so I’m dealing with it.

Kwik Sew patterns have always been sort of the step-children of the pattern world, and quite under-rated, I think.  I’ve always found them to be utterly reliable, and great starting points for exercising some imagination.  I was saddened to learn that Big Pattern has bought Kwik Sew, and the inevitable degeneration has begun:  No more lovely heavy pattern paper, a greatly pared-down catalog, and, soon, I presume, extinction.

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Vogue 8854: My Kind of Sweats

February 5th, 2014 4 comments

This is the second time I’ve made this tunic.  The first go-round was an experiment:  Could I get a decent-looking top out of some men’s sweatshirts?  The answer was “yes”, and now there’s no stopping me!

btnVogue 8854 is turning out to be my best friend:  gotta love this collar  and the great excuse for featuring a single favorite button!  That’s a skinny grosgrain loop around the button, below, which make a quick, no-turn, closure.  I do double the ribbon, though, for durability, and stitch along the edges before sewing it in place.

btnbtnI mostly sleep-walked through making this one, and made a massive number of mistakes, all of which I was able to fix, more or less. Paying attention counts, but so does recovering when one hasn’t . . . and sweatshirting, thank goodness, is the most forgiving of fabrics, providing, of course, you rip out stitches with great patience.

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I managed to get the stuff that counts most, righ.  And I remembered the small details, like the edge-stitching on the shoulder.  That  helps define the seams, and keeps them from looking sloppy-sweatshirt-puffy.

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This iteration was cut from just two men’s sweatshirts — one XL, I think, and one XXL, for the length.  There doesn’t seem to be much increase in length as the sizes go up, so I wasn’t tempted to buy anything larger.

v8854Love this pattern!  The changes I made included sloping the shoulder to fit my own better, enlarging the front pocket, lining the front pocket, adding cuffs using ribbing from the source sweatshirts, using grosgrain instead of self-fabric for the button loop, and eliminating the shirt-tail detailing from the hem.

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Chiffon Wrap

November 18th, 2013 8 comments

This wrap couldn’t be easier to make:  one rectangle, two seams! Here’s the front:

The pattern is by Rhonda Buss, of Rhonda’s Creative Life, who made it part of her weekly free pattern posts.  My version isn’t very exciting, featured as it is here, on my duct tape dummy, but it’s wonderful to wear.

Back view:

Because I never wear anything remotely formal, a wrap like this has a lot of appeal.  Slip it on over a black top and slim pants, and, voilà, I can almost look dressed-up.  Also, it packs up into nothing at all; if I had to look somewhat elegant, this could be a good fake.  Or it could be one fantastic beach wrap!  Here’s a sneak preview of Rhonda, modeling it quite romantically:

to get the full effect, you’ll need to check out Rhonda’s post where you can see it in its wondrous, flowing, glory at the beach!

I used my rolled hem foot to finish all the edges.  It did a beautiful job, and was a quick and easy way to knock off the project.

Rhonda’s instructions are here.  If you don’t know her blog, do take a look around.  Rhonda consistently posts clever and imaginative ways to think about, and manipulate, fabric — her Fabulous Free Pattern Fridays are incredibly inspirational, but so is the rest of her blog.  Go visit — you won’t be sorry!

Categories: Jackets, Tops Tags: