Friday, January 28, 2011

Nice idea, no success


That’s how about I feel about this little project. In the end I chose the plain knit fabric to work with, mainly because I had enough fabric of that to make a matching sleeveless top to wear with the cardigan I had in mind.  I chose the Jalie pleated cardigan pattern, which I made before in a print. This time no print on the whole but only dots at the shawl collar. It doesn’t look too bad on the dressform, but it’s too much white on me and the fit is no good. This was not too clear in the my previous version. Because of the plain fabric the folds/pleats and too spacious back are very obvious now. It’s a very nice fabric, so I already started unpicking the pleats and I will use the fabric for something else. Live and learn. Just wanted to share the idea with you, which I still like, but could have better done in a darker fabric.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Active wear

The gym pants and top are finished. Some detail pictures have to be done again, as they were not good enough to publish. My sports bra was in the washing machine, therefor a normal one underneath.

The contest on Pattern Review was a good motivation to make these kind of garments. I have never done that before. I like the result, but prefer another kind of sewing. I plan to sew a jacket to go with this set, but not sure whether I’ll finish that before the deadline of January 31. Being under continuous stress of deadlines for work, I just don’t want to put a deadline on my sewing. If I get it done, fine, if not, there will be other contests to participate. I wasn’t doing it to win, but it worked well to start me on this.




For another top I would say the back needed adjustment, for this gym top it’s ok as it is. The armhole might be a bit high, probably from stretching the binding a bit too much there. I used a variation of Kay Y’s technique for the binding, but used only 3 layers and worked from the front to the back). Next time I would do it different, as the topstitching is not very visible, because the stitches disappear partly in the fabric, as this is cut in the length of the fabric. This is one of the pictures that was not good).

For those in the Netherlands: I ordered my supplex fabric from Pixie. Good quality and quick delivery is my experience. It feels like the same quality fabric as my rtw gym pants. Only don’t wash a colored fabric with white the first time! I was so stupid to do that (my mind must have been elsewhere to trust that it wouldn’t harm) and the white is now  not so white anymore, but not pink enough to think that it should be , bummer). I’ll probably dye it in a darker color.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A dress – again

Thank you for your suggestions on my fabric choice. I will sew it next week, and decide then what to do.
You might know that I’m not sewing dresses often, and now I’ve sewn my second dress within two months. It’s number 12 from the Knip Mode February issue.

I love to wear the blue knit dress I made end of November, and thought it would be nice to sew this one. Suggested are “step by step intructions” in the center of the magazine, but these are not there. I could have used them. I made a Jalie twist top a long time ago, and thought I would sew the front in an hour or so (ever optimistic). The first evening I pinned in several different ways and didn’t get it. Concluding I was too tired to understand it, I left it. But even at the second attempt it took me quite a bit of time to grasp what was intended.

ETA: when I was looking for the instructions on the Knip mode website, there were none (last weekend), now they are here. Thanks Margreet for mentioning this. I used my normal size 40 for the upper part, tapering down to size 42/44 at hip height, which gave me perfect fit, no other changes).

Might have been me, but for those of you who might want to make this dress, this is how the notches come together. The yellow arrow indicates the opening.
  1. Fold the cut on facing at the neckline of the front (on the shoulder there is a marking where to fold)
  2. Sew the center front seam (the small vertical part in pattern part 1)
  3. Sew upper front to skirt part till center front
    This is where I got confused, it’s the red dots on my picture that have to be sewn together
  4. Fold right side of upper right part together, matching (blue) notches and stitch till notch (near the yellow arrow), leaving an opening
  5. From the right side, pull the left upper part through the opening and sew together
  6. After this it’s as easy as sewing a t-shirt

And finally:  the result of the dress on me:

The neckline is as low as shown in the magazine, so I’m wearing a camisole unterneath.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New fabric

There really is some sewing going on at my place. The top of the active wear set is almost ready as well. Tomorrow I will set up my coverstitch and finish both the top and the pants. In between I spent some time on a dress from Knip Mode February. This post is about fabric though, spring fabric! I’m making all sorts of plans in my head for spring. One of the projects I’m thinking about is a cardigan like this one which I found on the Anthropologie site.

I’ve seen a cardigan like this before in a shop, with very sheer fabric as collar/shawl and have wanted to make something similar since.

These are the fabrics I bought, and I’m not sure yet about the combination to use, most likely it will be the first one. I can make a top from the same fabric to wear with it. This is an off-white, stable knit. The other fabric is cotton, a less formal look.

Any thoughts?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Accent strip on gym pants

How long does it take to make a pair of gym pants? Such a simple project and still not finished. It sums up my week, too busy to sew, too busy to read blogs (I’ve clicked the “mark all as read” button when the unread items were more than 400, so sorry I can’t read all your inspiring posts!).

Let me share what I did on these. I’m copying a detail from a rtw pair which was also in the Knip Mode gym pants, though I’m using the BWOF pattern now. I mainly looked at the rtw pair to see how the ‘piping’ was done. It isn’t really piping, it’s more a wider strip of fabric .

I’m sure my rtw was not exactly made like this, as the industry has special machines to make this, but the result looks the same.

I started with a strip of fabric twice the width that will be on the outside plus the seam allowance. Then sandwiched the strip between the seam, basted with a large zigzag stitch.

Then I serged the seam (this time with black thread, on my sewing machine there’s red and I didn’t want to change, no one will ever see this besides my blog readers).

The strip of fabric on the right side after serging the seam.

Now I folded the strip and pinned it. This is where the twice as wide as the end result is helpful. I folded till the seamline and the strip will be the same width and thickness everywhere.

Last step: topstitching with a longer straight stitch. This is where I examined my rtw pair closely, and it really was not a stretch stitch.

For topstitching I used a walking foot, to make sure it wouldn’t shift.

WIth only the waistband to attach and hemming to be done, I do hope it won’t take a week to show the result.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Knip Mode February – a touch of spring

Yes, the fabric for my muslin is horrible, I’m glad to use it and throw it away afterwards. Marie-Christine wondered why I make a muslin for gym pants, and I can imagine that wondering. The stretch will be a bit different, but it gives a better indication now than the original pattern. I want to use piping or a strip of another color on the side and make pockets, so I want to know how the fit is and not just cut a strip of fabric off on the side after sewing it. The muslin only took half an hour including changing, so that’s not a lot of time and no fabric really lost.

Currently my sewing is not going fast, and that’s an understatement. I’ve had a severe cold this week and we were redecorating our bedroom. My sewing room was filled with other stuff till yesterday afternoon. And there was work too of course. Today a huge inspiration arrived: Knip Mode February 2011. They always publish about 3 weeks before the actual month. I’m not joining the 12-jacket a montn sew-along at stitchers guild, because I won’t come anything near 12 jackets this year. The February issue of Knip mode gives a few nice jackets though, so I might sew  a few in this year.

Like Burda  every spring there are some navy-themed garments (black/white), but they are styled very modern. Melissagave a good impression of the January issue with all the pants/trousers. I’m very happy that I subscribed this year.

My impression of a few favoriets. My daughter browsed the issue before me, and thought the jacket in the top left corner was designed for me. What do you think?


Must make more time to sew.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Gym pants muslin

Though I would like to sew the top or jacket, I’ll have to start with the pants of the active wear set I want to make. Not the most interesting part, but the pants take up most of the (black) fabric and I can’t cut the top or jacket before the pants are cut. The remains of the black fabric will determine what I can use for jacket and top(s).

In the same issue of Knip Mode as the top, there is also a gym pants pattern. I made a muslin of the top and it was fine (will make a picture later). I used the size that I needed by the size chart for the top and did the same for the pants (2 sizes larger). For the pants I thought that it looked large. So I compared it with a pair of rtw gym pants I have. This is a very good pair, and relatively new, but there is a large hole in the bottom part of one of the legs. Still wondering how that came to happen.

Look at the difference! And the rtw pants isn’t even very close fitting.

Back to Pattern review to search for other (magazine) options hoping that something would show up from a magazine I have (this is the way I found the Knip mode top pattern, Melissa had a review of that one, so no coincidence Melissa!). Burda 11-2007 showed up with a few reviews for a pair of yoga pants. I traced those within the Knip Mode pattern, I marked the lines, quite a difference. Time for a muslin, as the other rtw pants I have, are smaller and have a closer fit.


A quick muslin showed me that:

- it was too wide, I took in 2 cm on the side seams and 1 on the inseam. That’s 6 cm in total!

- the front had a strange pleat, I compared it to my rtw pair and changed the curve , much better

- a little extra height is needed in the back


I’m not going to show these on me ;), the fabric was bought many years ago for DD, at 17 this fabric no longer has any appeal to her (or me).

In the end I think I could have used the pattern 2 sizes smaller. Next is sewing these in the good fabric.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


The first day of the new year started with rain and sunshine here, very different weather from what we had the past few weeks. I am happy the snow has melted, though colder weather is predicted again.

Two 2010 projects were not shown here yet: a jacket and the famous Jalie scarf top. This top was counted in my total, as I published a picture of the fabric and when I saw that, I was reminded to the fact that I didn’t show it.

How is it that when you cut such an irregular fabric without paying attention, you end up with two almost identical parts on both sides? I didn't wear the top yet, too cold and if I'm going to wear it, it will be without the bow, just with the ties down.


The other is a Burda jacket (February 2010, no. 101). Not a difficult jacket at all, but it took me forever to finish. Yesterday I wore it to the friends we spent New Years Eve with, and I only made the buttonholes and attached the buttons an hour prior to leaving.



Sewing plans for 2011? As usual I don’t have any special resolutions or plans. It would be nice to have time to be a little more creative again. A Chanel jacket is on the list, I have a winter (dark colored) fabric and a spring colored fabric for it. Can’t decide yet what I want to do.

The first project will be active wear though. I had a black supplex already and have ordered white and red to go with it. The Pattern Review contest for active wear is in January. Good to get me started.

I want to make a pair of pants, one or two tops and a jacket.

This is the fabric

And two of the patterns I will use: the top from Knip Mode February 2007, the jacket from an Ottobre issue.


First I’ll make some sketches to decide on how to use the colors. After a few weeks of hardly any sewing I’m longing to get going again.